Innovation in Health has been taking a great turn towards the positive side since this year 2020. A 5th year Medical Student of UNICAL (University of Calabar, Nigeria); Henry Etim Nya, founded an online community called Bluewealshealth, together with his friends.
This post contains the goals that this 5th year Medical Student of UNICAL; Henry Etim Nya and his colleagues want to achieve through Bluewealshealth.
About the Founder of Bluewealshealth
I am Henry Etim Nya, C.E.O and Co-founder of bluewealshealth.com. I am a 500 level student (5th Year Medical Student) of the University of Calabar, department of Medicine and Surgery. I am very passionate about healthcare solutions in Nigeria and Africa. I love to read books about medicine, history, and African culture.
Bluewealshealth.com is an online health community for people who have the same specific illnesses. An online health community is a social community that offers support for people who have similar health conditions to share their own experiences, acquire information, receive and provide emotional and psychological support while healing together.
We came up with the idea of bluewealshealth after I was diagnosed with Hepatitis A – an acute liver infection caused by the hepatitis A virus that causes you to have abdominal pains, pale stools and the scariest of all was my dark colored urine.Henry Etim Nya
I was promptly attended to by a consultant Doctor but I wasn’t satisfied with what she was saying even as a medical student. I wanted to ask those who have been there and recovered, I kept surfing and searching the internet for answers. I had questions like when will it be over?
When will the dark urine stop? Will this lead to liver cancer? And all I kept seeing was textbook professional answers. I wanted more. I wanted people that had suffered this to tell me about it. This was what led to the founding of the company bluewealshealth.com.
We decided to build Africa’s largest online health community. We reckoned that there are millions of people living with HIV wanting to ask other people living with HIV questions ANONYMOUSLY about their health, access to drugs, etc and there are people living with breast cancer who want to hear from survivors and connect with other people fighting breast cancer.
The same goes for people with depression, pregnancy, tobacco addiction, etc. Apart from featuring 34 communities of common chronic health problems, we also run a health blog where we try to educate our patients thoroughly about their health conditions.
By using technology to level the power of traditional healthcare providers, we want to encourage patients to be in charge of their health, ask questions, and be more informed. We believe our platform will increase medical knowledge about chronic illnesses, encourage and provide physiological and social support for patients and caregivers.
We are confident that giving patients opportunities to speak out about symptoms, medications and treatments will offer new insights to newly-diagnosed, other patients, and caregivers.
Lastly, we believe data collection via our website will provide intelligence for medical researchers, pharmaceuticals, doctors, and health partners in improving medical healthcare.
OUR COMMUNITIES Include:
- Men’s Health Women’s Health
- Health Pregnancy
- Geriatric Care
- Breast Cancer
- Pain Management
- Downs Syndrome
- Deaf Community
- Sexually Transmitted Diseases
- Kidney Failure
- Drug Addiction
- Nutrition and Healthy Living
- Childhood Health
- Teens Health
- Hearing Loss
- Eye Health
- Alcohol Addiction
- Tobacco Addiction
- Physical Disability
- Dental Health.
Meet the Bluwealshealth Team
What do you Aim to Achieve through Bluewealshealth?
Africa is the only continent that contains nations where the average life expectancy is below 60. And there are 21 of them.
The lowest life expectancy of all is found in Sierra Leone, where it is a staggering 50.1, followed by Angola, Central African Republic, Chad, Ivory Coast, and Lesotho.
African women are not aware of pap smear, the 3 yearly screening test for cervical cancer that has reduced mortality rates of cervical cancer in the western world. We believe that by connecting more women to our women’s health community; allowing women to discuss women’s health issues and having guest doctors speak to women often we can increase life expectancy.
We want to put an end to avoidable deaths due to diseases as a result of poor health information. In simple care terms: we want to improve the life expectancy of Africans by increasing medical knowledge, democratizing patient care, and providing intelligence/data generated by discussions for medical research by Africans for Africans.
What are your greatest Challenges that could prevent you from achieving these goals?
In fact, what we thought would be our challenge has proven to be our strength. We were scared doctors would disapprove of this idea of bringing patients together but instead the support from doctors has been massive.
Our only major challenge is promotion. Financial resources to promote our social media pages to create more awareness about what we are doing. Another is in the area of content creation. We need more health content writers and educators. People who are willing to write without immediate gratification or pay. We take the education of our subscribers via our blog seriously because lives are on the line.
How do you intend to get through these challenges?
Hopefully. We are scaling through just fine. We are doing the best we can for now with the financial resources we can. We also sent out promotion flyers calling for health writers who would love their original works to be published.
Also, Read; 6 Career Pathways for Young Doctors in Nigeria
As medical students, how will you combine your roles at Bluewealshealth with your studies, considering your very busy schedule?
This is a huge one.
For most of us writing is a hobby. What helps is we are writing about medicine too. Moderation of discussions on our communities isn’t a very hectic task too. It can be done on the road to school, back, or while cooking. This allows time for study.
Who are eligible to join Bluewealshealth Community?
Anyone. In fact everyone.
Patients, caregivers, family members, etc. People who are not sick or do not belong to any of our communities can still join our Men’s health or Women’s health community.
What is your Message to Medical Students and Health Workers Out there? (Esp. In Nigeria)
The medical profession is no child’s play. I would advise us to keep pushing until the health sector is given its pride of place in Nigeria. And even if we don’t gain much ground, we should never lose ground.
Connect With Bluewealshealth!
Medical Students in Nigeria will keep trying to find effective ways of promoting the health sector through telecommunication. The best we can do even when we do not have much to offer is to encourage them by spreading their message to reach as many people as we can.
There is still some hope for the Nigerian health system. Let us not let it die completely.