Wife of the Ooni of Ife, Dr. (Mrs) Temitope Enitan Ogunwusi has been appointed as the Malaria Elimination Advocate for the South- West, Nigeria.
Her appointment was jointly approved on Monday by the National Malaria Elimination Programme of the Federal Ministry of Health in conjunction with Osun State Ministry of Health, the Society for Family Health (SFH), the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and the Breakthrough Action Nigeria. The investiture took place at the Ooni’s Palace, Enuwa, Ile-Ife during an advocacy visit paid on Olori Temitope.
The Consultant to the Nigeria End Malaria Council, Federal Ministry of Health, Mr Timothy Obot, while speaking, noted that Olori Temitope deserved the honour due to her valuable contributions towards youth development and making life more comfortable for the less privileged in the society through her capacity building programmes initiated by her NGO, the Hope Alive Initiative.
He further hinted that a substantial part of achieving malaria elimination in Nigeria, most especially in the South-West, is resource mobilization for adequate intervention coverage, advocacy and social behavioral change communication, as well as ensuring that the populace have access to the right prevention and treatment interventions.
Also speaking, the Head of the Branch and Deputy Director, Advocacy Communication and Social Mobilization Unit ( NMEP), Mr Raphael Onyilo stated that the Malaria Elimination Advocate is requested to serve as a change agent and voice for the National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP). According to him, the Advocate will also serve as the brand representative for malaria programme activities such as promoting increased medical visibility for the utilization of appropriate interventions which, according to him, include sleeping inside insecticide treated nets.
In his own address, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health, Dr Isiaka Adekunle, who was represented at the event by the Osun State Manager for Malaria Elimination Programme, Dr. Femi Oroge stressed that there is the need to seek everyone’s collaborative efforts and support in order to succeed in eliminating malaria in the south-west, hence the need to appoint an advocate to drive the initiative.
While responding, Her Regal Majesty, Olori Temitope Eniitan Ogunwusi appreciated all the partners for choosing her as Malaria Elimination Advocate for the South – West. She then averred that the primary goal of the programme, which is ‘keeping hopes alive’ can only be achieved through collective efforts and one spirit, adding that several strategies needed to be deployed to reduce malaria in the society.
Present at the event were: Sooko Adetunji Ogunwusi, Sooko Adegboyega Ogunwusi, Wife of the Minority Leader, Federal House of Representatives, Dr. (Mrs) Lere Oyewumi as well as representative of Society for Family Health, Mr. Daniel. Others were representative of Catholic Relief Services Mr. Stephen, representative of Breakthrough Action Nigeria, Mrs Oluwatoyin Ajoke Afajon, and the State Health Promotion Officer, Mrs Oluwabukola Oyelere, among others.