Role Play of HMOs (Health Maintenance Organizations) in Nigeria

Research Background & Scope

In his paper titled “State of Diabetes Care in Nigeria: A Review”, Sonny Chinenye, President Diabetes Association of Nigeria mentioned “Recent estimates indicate there are 171 million people in the world with diabetes in the year 2000 and this is projected to increase to 366 million by 2030. This increase in prevalence is expected to be more in the Middle Eastern crescent, Sub-Saharan Africa.” While healthcare facilities accessible to diabetes patients in Nigeria are improving, patients often lack basic knowledge about symptoms of Diabetes. The lack of awareness has led to approximately 3.9 million diagnosed patients suffering from diabetes type 1 or 2 in Nigeria. The client has developed a mobile based diabetes system, called Diabetes Management System (DMS), which aimed at assisting diabetes patients in monitoring their health. Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) in Nigeria play an important role in Diabetes education & treatment by creating awareness. The objective of the study was to define & measure the role played by HMOs in Nigeria and its impact.

Research Approach
  • Online research activity was conducted to identify relevant organizations & industry professionals to be engaged with for information & insights capturing. Information on research scope was initially captured through relevant online industry association websites, published articles & papers, reports, etc. to understand the landscape of Diabetes treatment & education in Nigeria.
  • Engagements were conducted with industry professionals associated with HMOs based in Nigeria (directly or indirectly) to capture their perspective on actual impact of HMOs role play. This also involved capturing inputs from National Health Insurance Scheme professionals and public health consultants about government’s contribution to HMOs role play. In-depth discussions were conducted to comprehensively map the intensity and impact of HMOs’ involvement in diabetes education & treatment.
Operational Challenges
  • Access to senior industry professionals: It was sometimes tough to connect with relevant industry professional located across Nigeria. Most HMOs are active in big Nigerian cities like Lagos, Ibadan & few others. Due to increasing number of newly identified patients, senior professionals based in these cities are not easily available for a discussion.
  • Due to unavailability of senior industry professionals, fewer perspectives on HMOS involvement could be “comprehensively” explored. Most small HMOs are not aware of trends in their value chain.
Research Outcomes

A descriptive structure of the Nigerian diabetes education & treatment ecosystem was developed using information and insights captured during online research & engagements with industry professionals.
Some key parameters on which insights were captured included market size of healthcare industry in Nigeria, recent growth and development, regulatory concerns, constraints to growth of HMOs, drivers of profitability & value proposition, key customer segments, etc.

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