•MD/CEO QUINCY Centre, LAGOS
Mrs Tobi Ayodele – Keeney is a busy health practitioner. This was apparent a few days ago when we met for this interview as she had a session with a client and was on her feet for many hours! As the MD/CEO of Quincy Wellness and Naturopathic Centre, she puts in so many hours to satisfy clients and her joy is helping people with their health issues. Although she trained abroad, Mrs Ayodele-Keeney is keeping the family legacy going with the centre. Before now, Quincy Herbals was known mostly for weight loss and skincare but within the last two years, the firm has upgraded to its new status, Quincy Wellness & Naturopathic Centre, an integrative wellness centre that provides holistic quality primary care to the community with an emphasis on the treatment of chronic illnesses such as diabetes, infertility, high blood pressure, as well as our signature weight loss and skin care programmes.
A wide range of healthcare services has been added to its stable, ranging from medical clinics, diagnostic labs, home health medical assessment and care, spa, home laboratory services, telemedicine, detailed integrative medical care, and traditional medicine, among others. The new improved health facility also offers a fully kitted state-of-the-art laboratory to cater to the needs of clients in getting quick and reliable results of a wide variety of tests with instant interpretations and medical recommendations. An advocate for the integration of medical and herbal medicine to boost healthcare delivery, Mrs Ayodele – Keeney (a Master’s Degree holder in Nursing from the University of Maryland, Baltimore, US), recently spoke to City People’s Contributing Editor, IYABO OYAWALE (08033564055). Below are excerpts:
When did you open this place?
How has it been since you started?
I would say that opening our integrative clinic and laboratory in Ikoyi in the middle of the COVID pandemic was a great accomplishment for me and my company. Other memorable moments for me would include seeing our products on Amazon.com and getting great reviews from people of all races purchasing our products from different parts of the world. As we were formulating some of the products several years prior, we didn’t imagine it reaching Amazon.com in the United States. The best part is our selling point and this is because they are made in Nigeria. Finally, a global marketplace gave us the platform to list a Nigerian brand selling made-in-Nigeria products without fear of people thinking its fake or substandard.
How has it been, combining African Traditional Medicine with Orthodox Medicine?
Over 20 years ago, the World Health Organization had already said that we should integrate African traditional medicine with Orthodox medicine to help improve positive patient outcomes because the combination works better. In some areas, you need traditional African medicine; in other areas, you need Orthodox medicine. In some other areas, you need the two. So, that declaration has existed since 2001. It’s just like it is in China where you have traditional medicine as part of the medical system. At Quincy, we’ve always integrated the two medical systems. It was the case when I was apprenticing with my mum. Under herbal slimming, we have the medical aspect. You’re obese, it’s a medical condition. And, we look at other diseases attached to this condition like diabetes, high blood pressure, if they’re infertile because of obesity. We do a patient in-take form and check their weight, blood pressure, temperature, height, etc. We’ve always had to involve orthodox-trained medical staff in our operations so we can marry the medical with the traditional. We do this because we don’t want to treat patients blindly.
From practice, what are the 3 major health challenges that women face?
They are high cholesterol, diabetes, and infertility.
So, where does obesity come in?
Obesity is a major problem for women. And, it comes with several health challenges. The problem is, that we have rejected our food, our herbs, our cultural beliefs and value systems, and our pride as Nigerians and have replaced it with diets, beliefs and ideologies that are foreign to our spirit, soul and bodies and it’s reflecting a lot in our health and wellness. I would also add that some chronic illnesses, formerly seen as foreign such as cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, fibroids and even auto-immune diseases are beginning to become resident in our country. The main issue we have in Nigeria is portion control and eating too much rice. In addition, we are starting to eat too much junk foods, sweet drinks, noodles, and pastries. Not only does eating these nutrient-poor food make us add weight, but it also puts us at risk of developing major illnesses like diabetes, high cholesterol, fibroids, and even cancer. Moreover, it is bad for your skin and can cause dull skin, acne, and rough skin. If we can keep our plates to consist of 50% vegetables, 25% carbohydrates and 25% animal protein, it can really help us achieve a healthy weight. For people who are already overweight and have been unsuccessful in losing weight, see a qualified weight loss specialist to help them achieve that awesome figure you have always dreamed of.
So, how can obese women lose weight?
I always say weight loss is 80 per cent nutrition and 20 per cent exercise. By the time these women come in, most often, they are obese and have developed other health issues. So, we don’t ask them to exercise immediately. We first treat the ailments they’ve developed as a result of obesity and watch them for a while. When they show signs of improvement, we ask them to do simple walking exercises. A simple stroll around your neighbourhood is enough for a start.
What has been the experience since you took over from your mum?
It has been a great experience, especially with the wealth of knowledge gained through my apprenticeship with Dr. (Mrs.) Quincy Ayodele. As people, especially as women, we must wear many hats depending on the situation we find ourselves in. We have both evolved in our work with each other, and in keeping with the challenging health situations of our ever-changing environment. Luckily for her, I am a very patient person and luckily for me, she is extremely flexible for a middle-aged mother from Ogun State.