Improving Healthcare in Nigeria with Affordable Medical Equipment from the USA

Kary Van Arsdale, Ed.D.

Certified International Commerce Specialist and Director of International Operations, Avante Health Solutions

The need for affordable, high quality medical equipment in Nigeria cannot be overstated. With a rapidly growing population that exceeded 185 million in 2016, Nigeria is the seventh most populated country in the world. Despite its rapidly increasing population, Nigeria is a country marked by poor healthcare delivery. In addition to a lack of healthcare providers, there is a shortage of surgical equipment and medical supplies required to properly treat patients. Patients often die due to a scarcity of key medical devices such as anesthesia machines, hospital beds, incubators and defibrillators.


Nigeria's Healthcare Industry: In need of Providers and Medical Equipment

Nigeria's healthcare industry has simply not been able to keep up with the country's growing population. In 2014, a report by BMI Research estimated that there were only 3,534 hospitals. Fewer than 1,000 of these are public hospitals with the remainder of facilities being privately owned with fewer than 10 beds1. With only .8 hospital beds per thousand residents, many ill citizens die before they can receive treatment. The majority of the hospitals and clinics are understaffed and lack the medical equipment and surgical supplies to properly treat patients.


How Deficiencies in the Healthcare Industry Impact Life Expectancy in Nigeria

Given these factors, it is not a surprise that the average life expectancy in Nigeria is only 54, which is among the lowest in West Africa. One in six children who are born in Nigeria dies before age five due to illness or disease. While some deaths occur because people are unwilling to seek medical care, other people die because they do not have access to the expertise or equipment required to treat their condition.


The Importance of Access to Hospitals and Surgical Equipment in Nigeria

The lack of hospitals, clinics and medical equipment is the most significant barrier to improved health care. The majority of hospitals and clinics are located in larger cities such as Lagos, Kano, Port Harcourt and Abuja. However, even residents of these cities face challenges because healthcare facilities in these cities are understaffed and poorly equipped. People who live outside these major cities face an even greater challenge because they do not have the means or transportation to reach a clinic or hospital.


The Challenge of Sourcing Medical Equipment in Nigeria

Owners of private clinics face a daunting challenge of their own. Many lack the medical equipment needed to save lives and others do their best to function with outdated medical devices. With few medical device manufacturers in Nigeria, surgeons and doctors are often fearful of buying equipment from other countries. Others fear that the cost of new devices will be too high for them to afford. Doctors and surgeons often do not know where to go to source high quality equipment at an affordable price.


How Doctors in Nigeria Can Save Money on Medical Equipment from the USA

Many healthcare providers in Nigeria do not realize that they can safely purchase affordable medical equipment from trustworthy companies in the United States. Many of these companies sell new equipment to Nigeria at a low price and professionally refurbished equipment at a major discount. Doctors and surgeons are often surprised to know that they can save 30% to 70% by purchasing their equipment from these companies. Some companies even have the ability to provide all of the equipment that a hospital or clinic needs, resulting in further discounts and reduced shipping fees.


How to Choose the Best Medical Equipment Supplier for Nigeria

When deciding between medical equipment companies, it is important to consider the presence of four key factors: Experience, competence, accreditation and references. Ideally, a company should possess decades of experience in the medical equipment industry, should be registered with the U.S. FDA and should be able to provide a long list of clients in Nigeria. Please contact us to learn more about how we have provided affordable medical equipment to hospitals and clinics in Nigeria for over 30 years. We look forward to working with you!

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