With a view to putting an end to the endemic medical tourism by which Nigerians spend between $1.5 billion to $2 billion annually on foreign medical cares, the Ooni of Ife, Arole Oduduwa Olofin Adimula, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, CFR Ojaja II, will on Monday July 15th and 16 July 2024 officially launch the EQUITY SPECIALIST CLINIC & DIAGNOSTIC CENTRE a subsidiary of his Equity Health Group located at Lekki Phase One area of Lagos. This first of its kind medical conglomerate opened for public use this morning of Monday, July 1st, 2024, is a pioneering healthcare services provider  established by the foremost African monarch to transform the landscape of healthcare delivery,  missioned to provide accessible, high-quality medical services globally, fostering wellness and medical excellence within communities across Africa.

Via this initiative, Ooni Ogunwusi emphasizes that premium must be placed on humanity and life in particular by ensuring no patient will be denied qualitative healthcare due to financial constraints especially in time of emergencies.

This development is inspired by the Ife monarch's involvement and immeasurable investment in Nigeria’s health sector since becoming the Arole Oduduwa, particularly as demonstrated when the COVID-19 pandemic that ravaged the world in the year 2020 which saw his intervention of free distribution of over 100 hundred motorised fumigation vehicles and equipments across the length and breath of Nigeria which cost him a whooping hundreds of millions of Naira as he constituted a team of professionals and brought together reputable medical research outfits, laboratories and other institutions to ensure that Nigerians are safe.

Speaking in a videocast in his palace at Ile-Ife recently on the motivation for the healthcare conglomerate, the Ooni said, “the last pandemic drew my attention to a lot of untapped medical potentials of we black people especially here on the throne of Oduduwa, these stuffs (Herbs and its likes) are what saved us from experiencing major challenges faced by most developed countries when no one regardless of riches or status could travel to seek medical attention abroad."

The President of Southern Nigeria Traditional Rulers Forum stated how he had to constitute a team of scholars particularly in the medical profession and veterans in the business/practice of the ancient herbal and alternative medicine who brainstormed on exploiting the best in African local herbal medicine, and how  this led to the discovery of potent solution through which beneficial products with which his team combated and defeated the pandemic were discovered. 

"I must hail the collaboration with the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti, National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRID) and frontline medical research institutions in the country which brought us this far".

“I remember developing an initiative, called “Pan African Foundation for Indigenous Medical Research and Development (PAFIMERD)” in 2020 during the celebration of African Traditional Medicine Day. All these activities have now snowballed into Equity Health Group; an international hospital and diagnostic centre with a lot of interlinked arms of medical solution including drug manufacturing, pharmaceuticals and vaccine production among others. The best part of it is that this facility will source its ingredients locally, thereby strengthening the Naira while boosting the country’s productivity." Ooni said.

According to him, the Equity Health Group stands at the forefront of healthcare innovation, encompassing a diverse portfolio of subsidiaries. He promised that through these subsidiaries, he  endeavors to complement the government's efforts a revolutionizing healthcare delivery and promote well-being of Nigerians globally.

"At Equity Health Group, we believe in patient-centered care, innovation and integrity.

Our watchword is to dignify human life by attending to all emergencies immediately regardless of the patient’s financial status. We will work to save lives first and not asking for papers or money from a dying patient.” he added.

On  his  involvement, the Ooni who doubles as the Overall Head of the Oduduwa race worldwide revealed that, he is in partnership on the company with a young visionary entrepreneur - Dozy Mmobuosi who has a very clear and similar vision to take the black race out of over dependence on the Western world for medicine and healthcare, saying efforts are combined to make it a world-class medical institution and diagnostic centre of reckon across the continent of Africa.

“I am pleased to inform you that the company has three subsidiaries. The first is the Equity Specialist Hospital and Diagnostic Centre; a comprehensive hospital and diagnostic service that focuses on advanced medical technology and personalized care. Presently, it is situated in Lagos State with plans for expansion to other parts of the country and the United Kingdom. The second arm is the Equity Pharmaceuticals; a company that will leverage innovative technology to provide quality pharmaceutical products and services. The last but not the least is the Equity Vaccine Laboratories; an arm that focuses on research and development of vaccines for global health security. With this, we aim to pioneer vaccines to tackle pressing global health challenges and ensure a safer future for all.

“In actualizing the purpose of this outfit, we shall bring on board our higher institutions of learning particularly the medical arms of reputable universities including the Ojaja University, Eyenkorin, Ilorin, Kwara State which I own. This will cement the “town and gown” relationship, thereby enhancing the productivity of our graduates.” Ooni said

Ooni Ogunwusi who is the Co-Chairman, National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria (NCTRN ) concluded that the advancement in health facilities in the country especially with the involvement of private sector like the Equity Health Group, will provide a convenient spot for Nigerians to abolish the culture of foreign medical tourism.

“Aside from the provision of unequaled medical services for Nigerians in line with best global practice, Equity Health Group is structured to actively participate in global medical research especially in the area of vaccine production/development to safeguard  global health. As the giant of Africa, Nigeria should be at the forefront in vital global medical conversations like the development of vaccines against malaria disease upon which we cannot afford to  be dependent on the Western world.

“While I am neither a medical doctor nor a pharmacist, I passionately believe that we have what it takes to change the narrative of over dependence on medical tourism to the developed countries. Beyond the area of research, Africa and indeed Nigeria can be a major powerbroker in the global pharmaceutical and medical industry.” The Ooni concluded.

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