By Chioma Obinna
To mark this year’s World Diabetes Day, the Olusegun Obasanjo Foundation, OOF, weekend commenced its free diabetes screening campaign for 10 million Nigerians across the country.
The diabetes screening campaign team is expected to move from state to state for the next 12 months, screening Nigerians for diabetes free of charge and also offer counselling and survival tips to those who test positive to the disease.
In his message virtually, the Founder/Chairman Board of Trustees, Olusegun Obasanjo Foundation, Olusegun Obasanjo who was represented by his wife, Mrs Bola Obasanjo expressed his delight at the commencement of the campaign.
The former President said: “For me, this is a dream come true as it has always been something I have always longed for and today, it has become a reality. There is no better way to mark this year’s World Diabetes Day than to lend a helping hand to those suffering from the disease.”
“Being a diabetic patient myself for many years, I understand the pains and challenges people suffering from the disease are faced with on a daily basis that is why we have thought it wise to launch this campaign to ameliorate the sufferings of an average Nigerian who cannot access the basic health need to manage the disease.”
He further said, “Like I would always say, diabetes is not a death sentence. With early detection and the right kind of information, people should be able to manage the disease and live a healthy lifestyle for as long as God wishes to keep them.
“Information is key and that is one thing we hope to achieve with this campaign, equipping people with relevant information about the disease.”
Speaking, the Commissioner for Health Ogun State, Dr Tomi Coker who represented the state governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun at the event, said, “I am proud to be associated with the foundation in all its efforts towards touching and improving the lives of Nigerians irrespective of where they come from.
“We as a government will be willing to partner with the foundation to drive some of its health-related programmes for the betterment of our people.”
The Chief Executive Officer, Olusegun Obasanjo Foundation, Dr Olalekan Makinde, reiterated the foundations commitment towards ensuring that health particularly, non-communicable diseases are given adequate attention.
He said, “We at Olusegun Obasanjo Foundation are delighted to be at the forefront of this campaign, which we strongly believe would have a significant impact in the lives of people suffering from diabetes.”
The one-day event featured free screening for people, a novelty match between team OBJ and ex-super eagles players, and dinner to wrap it up in the evening.
On the ground to support the foundation were the Aig-Imoukhuede Foundation, SageLife, Prime Coffee among several others.