When was the last time you went in for a health check-up? While juggling the many aspects of your daily life, it’s easy to forget this equally vital aspect of your well-being.
In a bid to better understand how people navigate this, we spoke with seven Nigerians and they shared their thoughts and experiences with health checks.
Didi, 21, F
The first time I went for a thorough health check-up in my adult life was when I had an accident and hit my pelvis on a concrete floor. The second time was recently when I noticed that I experienced difficulty breathing after climbing stairs or walking a distance, which wasn’t the case a few months ago. The check-up wasn’t an enjoyable experience; the delays, expenses, and stress was just a lot, but I had to get through it. Unfortunately, I do not have health insurance, so the cost of everything made me wince, but this is “adulting”, after all.
Femi, 23, M
Let me just say check-ups can be hectic in Nigerian hospitals. So, I don’t have them done as often as I’d like. Also, there’s the expansive consultation fees, depending on what kind of check-up. I remember last year, when I went in for a routine eye check up, I had to cough out 30k at a go for one test alone. I just kept thinking to myself, “Checking to see if I’m in good shape shouldn’t be this hard nau.” Lol. And the worst part of everything is that I was given no explanation whatsoever on the tests being carried out. It was just a weird process of having things shoved in my face, and told to do this and that without a WHY. I then had to be the one constantly asking questions before I’ll hear stories that touch. They should do better, abeg.
Esther, 23, F
I consider periodic check-ups to be considerably important. Maybe because I currently have a health condition that could have been better managed if it was diagnosed on time. Now, I’m a big advocate for health checks. You never really know what you’ve come in contact with over time. So, it’s best to be sure there aren’t any underlying illnesses.It can be expensive, especially when consulting specialists, but by all means necessary. Better to be safe, than sorry.
Lola, 24, F
In general, I usually have appointments setup by my GP, the intervals sometimes vary, so I guess I could chuck it up to several times a year. But honestly, since being back to Nigeria, I only see a healthcare professional when it’s become absolutely necessary, which isn’t great, but I hate the services here, and prefer to avoid it altogether. Also, there tends to be a lack of awareness with people and the workings of their bodies (especially in the context of this society), which prevents them from noticing little changes when they happen. Checkups, however, could point these changes and their implications out. In my case, I went in for a pap smear, and I was diagnosed with HPV. It just didn’t add up, since I had one sexual partner, with whom I very rarely had penetrative sex, and they themselves weren’t positive. It could have been alarming for anyone else, but I think I’m kind of jaded health-wise, so I was more focused on the fix, than the problem.
Timi, 25, M
On a scale of 1 – 10, I’d rate the importance of going for check-ups a resounding 10. I think they potentially save lives in a lot of cases, but many people take it lightly until they manifest one symptom or the other. And who would blame them? Anything hospital-related is bound to incur expenses if one doesn’t have health insurance. Thankfully, one of the perks of working at my company is HMO, so I don’t necessarily have to worry about costs. I go for check-ups every four months, and while I’ve never discovered any life-threatening illness, it’s reassuring to have it done.
Joy, 33, F
I always have one health wahala or the other, and you would think that would make me more invested in going for check-ups, but the reverse is the case, which is bad, I know. It’s mostly when my body shuts down and I can’t perform my normal daily activities that I go for checks (don’t be like me, please!). The last instance of this was in October when I was forced to run a full body scan after coughing for a long time. That’s when it was discovered that dust was lodged in my lungs and I was severely dehydrated. I’m still in the recovery process and following my doctor’s advice for improvement.
Kolawole, 53, M
You know, when one gets to this age, extra caution has to be applied. This is where check-ups come in. In the past, it has saved me from a condition I wasn’t even aware of; earlier this year, May to be precise, I went in for my routine check up as usual, and the doctor diagnosed me with Ascites to my surprise. While I had observed the swellings around my leg and discomfort in my abdomen, I didn’t think it would be something serious enough to require a surgery. My children were worried as well, but thankfully, the it was nipped in the nick of time. I don’t want to imagine what would have happened if I never see my doctor often.
Getting health insurance from Hygeia HMO can help you better prioritise routine check-ups.
Hygeia HMO has a wide variety of health insurance plans for individuals, families, and even employees at businesses. With this, you can get check-ups, medical advice, and treatment from health professionals at a fraction of the usual cost.
Visit Hygeia HMO to find a plan that best fits your needs.