MEET THE LADY PARTNERING WITH THE OONI OF IFE TO MAKE UNDERPRIVILEGED CHILDREN SMILE
Scaling the heights to get to a point of development and growth is no mean feat. Anyone who could have met Ms. Temitope Adesegun in 1998 when she had bagged a diploma in Linguistics may not have had an inkling that she would rise to the corridors of where she strides on confidently now.
Widely revered in management, Ms. Temitope Adesegun bagged diplomas in Linguistics and Data Processing from the University of Lagos in 1998 and 2000 respectively and a Bachelors’ in Business Administration from the same university. She enjoyed a private sector career as an administrative executive and public relations officer at several organisations. In 2009, Ms. Adesegun became the Personal Assistant to the Secretary to the Lagos State Government: Princess Adenrele Adeniran-Ogunsanya; a position she managed till the end of her political tenure in 2011.
With commitment to public service and sheer determination to making positive impact; Ms. Adesegun became the anchor and host of the Lagos State Ministry of Health Public Health Advocacy Program: Health-Wise which aired for 4 years to propagate appropriate information and improve knowledge of the 20 million residents in Lagos on Public health challenges faced in the state. The programme engaged leaders and stakeholders in the Lagos State Health System to tackle the impact of several public health threats in Lagos.
She is a certified alumnus of the following universities: University of Oxford, United Kingdom, INSEAD Business School, Fontainebleau, France, University of Cambridge, Judge Business School, United Kingdom and Harvard Kennedy School of Government in the United States. Ms. Adesegun has developed a strong commitment to development; an advocate of the now rested Millennium Development Goals and determined proponent of the Sustainable Development Goals 2030.
Her consummate experience in health and development has seen Ms. Adesegun through several duties as a leader.
Currently, she leads the working team of the Hopes Alive Initiative under the Auspices and Management of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II through the House of Oduduwa Foundation.
Knowing how revered you are in management, what informed your choice to study Linguistic?
First, I’ll love to state that learning new languages fascinates me. Linguistics is the study of language and how it works. It looks at language in a way that has never been done before. Linguistic and data processing gives exciting career opportunities such as Speech Therapy and Social Worker. The course also affords variety to its students. The study of Linguistic gives opportunity to study abroad, it creates awareness that not all languages have the same grammatical structure as English and one gets to experience other languages first-hand.
On a scale of 1-5, what do you think is the present level of advocacy for issues of public health importance in Nigeria?
I will say 3.
What method can be used to upscale advocacy?
More publicity and awareness on health should be created in the society. People need to be more informed even about the littlest sicknesses. Free health missions should be organized frequently. Also there should be advocacy in clinical research. Medical students too should be exposed to more practicals so as to function better after bagging the degree. Media Advocacy is also important. Having a TV show like Health Wise, a Lagos State Ministry of Health’s Advocacy Programme which I anchored for over four years is also of utmost importance.
What were the major impacts the Lagos State Ministry of Health’s Public Health advocacy programme; Health-Wise achieved?
The programme: Health-Wise, a Lagos State Ministry of Health’s Advocacy Programme which aired for over four years propagated appropriate information and improved knowledge of the 20 million residents in Lagos State on Public Health challenges faced in the state. The programme engaged leaders and stakeholders in the Lagos State Health System to tackle the impact of several public health threats in Lagos most especially during the 2014 Ebola outbreak in Nigeria.
Do you think the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) were achieved? And why?
In all honesty, what I will say is that we still have a lot to achieve in Nigeria. I mean, so many still don’t have sustainable access to safe drinking water, the menace of malaria and other major diseases is scary, maternal health can get better and same with child mortality. There already is gender awareness which can still improve. Primary schooling is not yet available to all and there is still extreme poverty level.
What should be put in place to help Nigeria gain optimal achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) come 2030?
The major thing to put in place is to prioritize achieving the goals. There must be increased awareness, the agenda must be integrated into government’s plan and actualized even to the local government level. Projects that are tied to SDGs should be embarked on with appropriate feedback and accountability.
What are the factors that hinder the opportunities for development in Nigeria? And what does our system need to put in place to make this an easy feat?
Good governance is the major thing we need in this country. Leaders should fulfill all promises once they get into power. All policies should be implemented to the best of their power. Citizens on the other hand should not leave development to government alone. One aspect citizens can contribute is by being loyal to payment of taxes. We all are the government and so let us all make the development of this country our priority. Corruption is also a major setback for us in Nigeria, it is draining this country and that is why accountability is very important. Another thing we need is Finance for projects and there should be increased level of transparency of Government with income.
Can you please throw more light on the activities of the Hopes Alive Initiative and what has been your experience working on the programme?
Hopes Alive Initiative is part of the Point youth oriented agenda of His Imperial Majesty, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, the ojaja II and great Ooni of Ife. The Initiative is a social advocacy platform designed to alleviate the economic, cultural and environmental challenges by reducing the impact of poverty amongst the most vulnerable in the society for shared prosperity and exponential impact on the global society. HAI gives hope to the hopeless and turn the story of the under privileged positively. We officially started December 2nd 2017 and as at 25th December 2017 , we were at the IDP camp in Abuja. We were at hospitals in Lagos State to show love on Valentine’s Day. We’ve partnered with different NGOs. We supported Kidsport Charity Cup season 9, a grassroots football tournament being played between Orphanages and Homes for the less privileged in Lagos State. It has been very challenging but it has sure been fulfilling. Seeing smiles on the faces of the underprivileged is paramount to us at HAI.
At this point I would love to appraise the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, a man whose passion is to meet with the needs of the underprivileged, a man who giving to humanity is his priority, a man who is solely dedicated to the underprivileged, giving their lives a meaning, an amazing being whose utmost goal in life is to see the hopeless hopeful, the underprivileged privileged. That is why His Imperial Majesty is calling on Like Minds to partner with him on this mission of fulfilling dreams. On this note, we call on corporate bodies and Individuals to support the Initiative. We are also having the second edition of Give Back Concert and HAI TV Launch on 24th June, 2018. HAI TV is a programme that all NGOs should embrace so as to discuss all-encompassing and global issues affecting underprivileged while at the same time empowering them.