Ooni unveils international hospital, diagnostic centre to end foreign medical tourism

Ooni of Ife, Adeyeye Ogunwusi has unveiled the Equity Health Group, a pioneering healthcare conglomerate dedicated to transforming the landscape of healthcare delivery, with a mission to provide accessible, high-quality medical services globally and fostering wellness as well as medical excellence within communities.

The facility, which opened for public use yesterday will be formally launched on July 15 and 16 in Lagos.

With the initiative, the Ooni seeks to ensure a premium placed on humanity and life in particular by ensuring no patient will be denied qualitative healthcare due to financial constraints, especially in times of emergency.

Addressing newsmen on the motive for the healthcare conglomerate, the Ooni said: “The last pandemic drew my attention to a lot of untapped medical potentialities of black people, especially here on the throne of Oduduwa, these stuffs, herbs and the 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.

“I 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 our local herbal medicine, and this led to the discovery of potent solution through which beneficial products with which we combated and defeated the pandemic were discovered. I must hail the collaboration with the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti, National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development 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 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 solutions, 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.

“Equity Health Group stands at the forefront of healthcare innovation, encompassing a diverse portfolio of subsidiaries. Through these subsidiaries, we endeavour to revolutionise healthcare delivery and promote well-being globally. At Equity Health Group, we believe in patient-centred 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 ask for papers or money from a dying patient.”

On his involvement in the project, the Ooni said: “To the glory of God, I co-own 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. We combined efforts to make it a world-class medical institution and diagnostic centre.

“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 personalised 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 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 actualising 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.”

Oba Ogunwusi, who is the co-chairman, National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria, said the advancement in health facilities in the country, especially with the involvement of private sector operators 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 unequalled medical services for Nigerians in line with best global practices, 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 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 we have what it takes to change the narrative of over-dependence on medical tourism to 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 said.

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