The Ooni of Ife His Imperial Majesty Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi(Ojaja II) and his queen Olori Wuraola Ogunwusi(Yeyelua) have been named by Sheam Health Care Foundation as The Royal Ambassador and Royal Face respectively in the advocacy against hepatitis in Nigeria.
The Chairman of the occasion and the Chief Medical Director of Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital(OAUTH) Dr Victor Adetiloye described Ooni Ogunwusi as most suitable for the award as he has been contributing materially and financially to the health care of the people of Ile-Ife since he became Ooni of Ife.
He specifically praised the monarch for his sponsorship of the first open heart surgery in Nigeria carried out by the teaching hospital some months ago.
The award conferment was performed on Thursday 28th July 2016 by Former Head of State and Goodwill Ambassador of Hepatitis Advocacy in Nigeria General Yakubu Gowon during a ceremony tagged Ile-Ife Free Health Caravan organized by Sheam Health Care Foundation(SHECA) as a flag-off for a 1-week free hepatitis tests and vaccinations for the people of Ile-Ife in commemoration of this year’s World Hepatitis Day 2016.
Executive Secretary of the Foundation Princess Adepeju Hammed described the foundation as a non-profit making organization dedicated to the development of public awareness, prevention and care for viral hepatitis which according her is preventable through behavioral changes, risk reduction and vaccination if the disease is early detected.
The Minister of Health Professor Isaac Adewale represented by a Consultant on Viral Hepatitis of Yakubu Gowon Center Dr David Nwedu emphasized on hepatitis as a deadly global disease that has affected more than 500 million people chronically with most of the victims not detecting early. The minister further explained that over 20million Nigerians are living with either Hepatitis B or C or both and about 600 victims in the State of Osun going scientific proof, the national prevalence rate and the estimated population of Osun state in 2016 which stands at about 4.6 million, approximately, 600,000 persons are currently living. This is known to more easily transmittable than the dreaded HIV virus.
General Gowon while thanking Ooni Ogunwusi and Olori Wuraola Ogunwusi not only for hosting the event both also accepting the awards described as laudable, the honour given to the number one Yoruba Royal Couple. He said having them as the Royal Ambassadors is the right step in the direction, and commended the foundation for their foresight in selecting them as their Ambassadors.
Gen Gowon however urged the people to come out for the free hepatitis tests and vaccinations as health is wealth. He also berated those in government positions who divert the public money meant for health care or other public basic needs with reference to the ongoing alleged “budget padding ” in the National House of Representatives. He therefore called for stiff penalty for anyone found guilty to serve as a deterrent to others.
In his acceptance speech, the Ooni Ogunwusi
said; “this is no ordinary award but a reminder of his commitment to progressive Nigeria and not just Hepatitis free Nigeria but a healthy. He described the Royal Ambassador award as very valuable and masses oriented one that will motivate and challenge him to do more for the masses especially in the health sector.
The foremost African Monarch charged the well meaning Nigerians to stop amassing wealth at the expense of the poor masses, urging that the fundamental essentials of living, which entails supporting one another should be included in everybody’s daily routine.
“Why should we busy amassing wealth, beautiful houses, and acquiring exotic cars when there are millions of our people out there who who cannot afford basic healthcare for themselves, several of them do not even know they are having viral hepatitis in their system? “.
He ended his very emotional speech with a promise to put in his best morally, financially and materially in his usual character now as Royal Ambassador for hepatitis Advocacy in Nigeria.
While the 1-week free hepatitis tests and vaccinations continued till Wednesday 3rd August 2016 attracting thousands of beneficiaries daily, the flag-off ceremony was climaxed on the morning of the second day Friday 29th July 2016 when the newly crowned Royal Face of Hepatitis Advocacy in Nigeria, Her Majesty Olori Wuraola Ogunwusi(Yeyelua) led hundreds of volunteers including the National Vice President Society of Gastroenterology and Hepathology In Nigeria(SOGHIN)Professor Dennis Ndububa and some Yoruba film celebrities like Kemi Afolabi, Murphy Afolabi, Yomi Fabiyi, Funke Etti, Ayanfe Adekunle(Monsuru) on a 10 kilometer health walk tagged “walk for life promoting healthy liver” around the town marking the world hepatitis day.
Olori Wuraola Ogunwusi in a chat with the pressmen during hepatitis awareness walk said SHECA foundation has laid a very good foundation for a hepatitis free Nigeria. She pledged to do everything in her capabilities to support the foundation and ensure the goal is achieved. Yeyelua as fondly called concluded by admonishing the well meaning Nigerians to join hands with the foundation in its quest to free the nation from the hepatitis which she described a deadlier disease than HIV Aids as it takes collective effort to achieve such.
Chairman of the Foundation and Obasewa of Ife Chief Agboola Odeyemi, The Acting VC of Obafemi Awolowo University Professor Anthony Elujoba, Vice president of SOGHIN Professor Dennis Ndububa, representatives of Roche Product Ltd, Zolon Healthcare, Philip Pharmaceutical Ltd, GSK Nigeria Ltd, Sanoli Pasture Ltd and all the Ife Kingmakers led by Obalufe of Iremo-Ife, HRM Oba Idowu Adediwura also graced the occasion.
Comrade Moses Olafare, Director of Media and Public Affairs,