Recently when we sat down with Adesimbo Ukiri, the Chief Executive Officer of Avon Healthcare Ltd, we asked her to tell us about the biggest challenges facing the HMO industry in Nigeria and the possible solutions to said challenges. In response, she said the biggest challenges have to do with lack of education and awareness.
“I would say it’s education and awareness. The average Nigerian is very reluctant to get a health plan for themselves. And some people would argue that it is a disposable income issue; some people don’t even have enough money to eat. True, there’s a large proportion of our population living at poverty or below poverty line. Therefore, a health cover is not something that is important to them. But then you look at the amount of money these people spend on airtime and data for instance and you also look at the amount of money that they spend on alcoholic beverages and whatnot and it makes you wonder like ‘really and truly, people can actually afford to spend more on health if they choose to’. The question then is how do we educate the population to know that health is something that you should set money aside for?,” Adesimbo Ukiri said.
She went further to highlight some of the efforts being made by the company with regards to changing the status quo, including targeting millennials via social media and advertising on radio. She said it is just a matter of time before some significant changes will be seen.