Festive cheers filled the air on Wednesday, September 20, 2023, as a lively road-walk to create awareness about high blood pressure by the O.B. Lulu-Briggs Foundation set the stage for a triple celebration.
The exercise was a prelude to a thanksgiving service heralding the 22nd anniversary of the O.B. Lulu-Briggs Foundation, the 15th anniversary of the Chapel of Christ International Worship Centre and the 65thbirthday of the Foundation’s Chairman, Dr. (Mrs.) Seinye Lulu-Briggs.
The Foundation’s joyous staff and volunteers, adorned in orange and white t-shirts, were resplendent as they proceeded from Isaac Boro Street in Old GRA through the Abali Flyover, Aba Road, sensitising people about the ‘silent killer’ under a broad campaign tagged ‘Rise Above High Blood Pressure.’
Their banners with catchy inscriptions including ‘Keep Calm and Watch Your Blood Pressure’, ‘Hypertension is a silent killer’ and ‘Healthy heart, healthy life’ educated people and informed them of a free blood pressure/hypertension screening billed for Saturday, September 23 at the La Sien Pavilion, 22 Forces Avenue, Old GRA in Port Harcourt.
The Volunteers further handed out informational pamphlets about hypertension and its effects on health, emphasizing the significance of regular health check-ups. Some even engaged with onlookers, answering questions and encouraging them to attend the free health awareness event.
The over 30 kilometers walk further affirmed one of the core objectives of the Foundation, its chairman and the church: community well-being and altruism.
On Thursday, September 21, thousands converged on the Chapel of God International Worship Centre to join the Foundation’s thanksgiving service.
Hearts swelled with thanks, souls resonated with joy, and voices united in songs to appreciate the Almighty God, the Foundation and Dr. Lulu-Briggs’ cornerstone and sustenance.
A living embodiment of service, the O. B. Lulu Briggs Foundation has been a beacon of hope and illumination across the country for over two decades. So, as it and the church commemorated their anniversary, the maestro of the ensemble, Dr. (Mrs.) Seinye Lulu-Briggs, whose dedication has orchestrated the melodic journey of philanthropy and service, was similarly recognized.
The attendees thanked God for adding a new year of impactful service to her life.
Expectedly, eminences joined in celebrating the life and impactful contributions of the renowned philanthropist, her Foundation and the Chapel of God International Worship Centre. They included the Amanayanabo of Opobo Kingdom, HRM, King Dandison Jaja, HRH, King (Dr) Suanu Baridam, Mr. and Mrs. Francis Bruce; Archbishop Felix Ezebunwo; other royal fathers; government officials; Nigerian Army Officers’ Wives Association (NAOWA), 6 Division; members of the Nigerian Bar Association, Port Harcourt and HOROCO 74 Sisters, among others.
Their presence added prestige and significance to the celebration, demonstrating respect and admiration for Dr. Sienye Lulu-Briggs, her Foundation and the church.
The elegantly attired choir ministered powerfully through praise and worship songs to set the stage for the sermon.
In an inspiring sermon by the Resident Pastor of Chapel of God International Worship Center, Pastor Princess Emmanuel, titled ‘Celebration of Glory’, the cleric highlighted the importance of carrying God’s glory and making a positive difference in society.
The Pastor, who defined ‘glory’ as that quality which secures praise and honour in the life of a person, added that “Glory is loud, magnificent and beautiful”, stressing that anyone who carries God’s glory will be like a city on a hill that cannot hide.
Pastor Emmanuel declared that this glory of God has announced the O.B. Lulu-Briggs Foundation, Chapel of God International Worship Centre and founding Pastor, Dr. (Mrs.) Seinye Lulu Briggs. She added that the same glory has rubbed off on church members.
“You must show this glory by touching lives. People will see this glory in you and come to the father”, she declared.
A minute silence was observed in the church for the continued repose of the soul of the Foundation’s grand benefactor, High Chief O. B. Lulu-Briggs, who passed almost five years ago.
Other highlights of the thanksgiving service included heartfelt testimonials and expressions of gratitude from beneficiaries of the Foundation’s outreaches. They acknowledged the significant impact of Dr Lulu-Briggs and the invaluable contributions of the Chapel of God International Worship Centre on their lives over the years.
At the celebration’s grand finale on Saturday, September 23, the Foundation organized a free blood pressure awareness seminar, diagnosis and treatment for people from within and outside Port Harcourt at the LaSien Pavillion, Old GRA.
On the occasion, Dr Seinye Lulu-Briggs expressed gratitude to the attendees for their enthusiastic participation.
She emphasized the Foundation’s commitment to enhancing public health by addressing poor awareness about common ailments, in this instance- hypertension, a prevalent yet often overlooked health issue in Nigeria.
Dr. Seinye Lulu-Briggs also stressed the importance of early detection of high blood pressure and urged everyone to take advantage of the opportunity to be screened at the event.
While describing hypertension as a ‘silent killer’, the Chairman disclosed that the World Health Organization’s statistics showing that an estimated 1.28 billion adults aged 30-79 globally have hypertension, with most (two-thirds) living in low and middle-income countries call for concern and action. However, she noted that hypertension is a condition that can be managed and prevented through awareness and lifestyle choices.
“By spreading knowledge about the causes and risks of high blood pressure, we empower individuals to take control of their health. We give them the tools to make informed decisions and seek medical attention when needed,” she said.
She expressed joy that 22 years later, the O. B. Lulu-Briggs Foundation continues to count gains, addressing community challenges by God’s grace.
“We have seen the highs and lows, faced challenges, and achieved milestones that have shaped us into who we are today. Our journey has been guided by the unwavering belief that we are chosen vessels crucial to the upliftment of Nigerians and Nigeria,” she stated.
The Chairman disclosed that one of the Foundation’s low points was stopping over 4,000 children from having the annual Christmas party in Abonnema, where the children usually go home with ‘wonderful gifts that bring them joy’. She prayed to God for the grace to host the children once again.
With hundreds of peoples checked, given medication, blood pressure monitors and referrals made for those who could not be treated at the outreach, free of charge, the triple celebration was widely applauded as a huge success.
A beneficiary, Mr Sonte Williams, shared his testimony: “The free BP (blood pressure) test and treatment was a game-changer for me. The volunteers were incredibly knowledgeable and friendly, making the process comfortable.
“After the test, they explained the results and recommended a personalised treatment plan. I am now on track to manage my blood pressure better and feel more in control of my health. This initiative has made a real difference in my life, and I am grateful for the opportunity.”
Other recipients who spoke to National Network lauded the kind gesture and showered gratitude on Dr Seinye Lulu-Briggs for spearheading the timely and benevolent health care initiative.