Image source: The Guardian Nigeria

Tomorrow, July 20th 2023, TechCabal Insights is convening key stakeholders across the healthcare sector to discuss how technology can be leveraged to improve access to credit financing for PPMVs. Register here: https://bit.ly/TCLivejul21.

Patent and Proprietary Medicine Vendors(PPMVs) are the unsung heroes in Nigeria’s healthcare structure, playing an indispensable role in delivering healthcare services and making essential medicine accessible to millions. They are known as “persons without formal pharmacy training selling orthodox pharmaceutical products on a retail basis for profit” and act as the first point of care for the majority of the Nigerian population, providing basic medical services for both children and adults, especially in the underserved communities as a result of their accessibility, affordability.

In Nigeria, for instance, over half of Nigerians visit PPMVs for treatment when faced with symptoms of malaria. According to NDHS in 2018, 41% of family planning services were provided by the private sector of which 51% were accessed at private chemist/patent medicine stores.  They provide a wide range of healthcare products and services including malaria and diarrhoea treatment as well as family planning services. 

As vital healthcare providers, PPMVs face an array of challenges that hinder their capacity to function effectively. The prevalence of counterfeit and substandard medications, their limited health education, and the lack of a clear and consistent regulatory framework on the boundaries of their practices are persistent issues that pose a significant challenge to their effective practice.

However, one of the most pressing challenges faced by PPMVs is limited access to credit financing. Financial institutions often hesitate to extend credit to PPMVs due to perceived risks, lack of collateral, and limited credit histories. Consequently, many PPMVs are unable to expand their businesses, procure adequate inventory, or invest in essential resources. This financial constraint can hinder their ability to serve their communities effectively and stifle their potential for growth.

Addressing these challenges requires a multi-faceted approach, including access to credit schemes, improved regulation heightened public awareness, and collaborations with pharmaceutical companies to build a more robust, inclusive, and effective healthcare system for all its citizens.

Register here to listen to be a part of this conversation tomorrow at 11 AM (WAT). They will share insights and perspectives on empowering PPMVs to further strengthen healthcare inclusion in the country.

Victoria Olaonipekun Junior Projects/Events Associate

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