The health ecosystem in Nigeria is evolving. And rapidly too! Although the country struggling to contain the brain drain in recent years in the health sector, Nigerians who are back home are working hard to keep the trends positive and the population healthy. As of the end of Q2 2023, some health trends have emerged, reflecting both global influences and local needs. Let us dive quickly into 5 latest health trends in Nigeria.
1. Telehealth Revolution
While telehealth adoption was almost inconsequential at the turn of the last decade, the pandemic of 2019/2020 increased adoption across the country and development too. With the widespread use of smartphones and improved internet connectivity, telehealth platforms have gained traction to reach patients in Nigeria.
Although more work is still to be done to encourage adoption, there is still room for developing growth strategies in remote areas to include rural internet connectivity, increased trust signals, and community relationships with local care facilities.
In 2023, we have seen more health startups develop solutions that focus on virtual consultations, remote monitoring, and digital prescription services which have not only eased the burden on overcrowded healthcare facilities but also provided a lifeline for those who previously faced challenges in accessing medical care.
2. Preventive Health and Wellness:
There has been a surge of information and awareness campaigns on the importance of health. This is thanks to several leading health voices like Dr. Olawale Ogunlana, whose “Word Round” shorts have done a fantastic fit of nearly 10,000,000 views in the first six months of this year. Others include: Aproko Doctor, Nurse Wey Sabi amongst others.
Healthy activities such as regular tests, washing hands, drinking water, visiting the dentist, exercising regularly, and avoiding prescription drug abuse are constantly shared with over 32 million Nigerians weekly.
3. Mental Health Advocacy
After years of living in denial about the impact of mental health on the everyday Nigerian. More Nigerians have started paying attention to their mental health. This has allowed for a gradually diminishing stigma surrounding mental health issues.
There’s also been improved access to psychologists, counselors, and mental health therapists. This is thanks, in part, to the digital age and the development of telehealth solutions but also non-profits in the health advocacy space.
4. Herbal and Traditional Medicine:
Nigeria’s rich tradition of herbal and traditional medicine is experiencing a revival as people seek natural alternatives for health and wellness. The use of traditional remedies, backed by centuries of cultural knowledge, is gaining attention alongside conventional medical practices.
There is also a constant push to regulate the traditional medicine industry as people are becoming more aware of the dangers of unregulated medicine . There is a growing emphasis on scientific research and regulation to ensure the safety and efficacy of these traditional treatments.
5. Investment is pouring into health tech solutions
The tech ecosystem is seeing more investments in health technology space solutions primarily in the pharmaceutical side of the industry.
In the last few months, we have seen completed exciting seed rounds with YC-backed Remedial Health announcing a $12 million dollar investment led by QED amongst other investments.
The health ecosystem is on a journey in the country. Nigeria’s health landscape is undergoing a transformative journey, with diverse health trends contributing to improved wellness and access to care. From the digitalization of healthcare services to the renaissance of traditional medicine, these latest health trends in Nigeria highlight the dynamic nature of the ecosystem in the country. In the years to come, Nigeria’s health trajectory will be shaped positively by some of these trends shared here.