16 Dec 2022 (3rd Edition) WINNERS’ LIST: OCI Foundation’s 2022 LAMS (Literary Award for Medical Students), South-east Nigerian Medical Schools; 16/12/2022
Here are the winners of the 2022 (3rd) Edition of the OCI Foundation’s South-East NiMSA Literary Award for Medical Students, LAMS. NiMSA (Nigerian Medical Students Association) is the national body that represents all the medical students in Nigeria, and is made up of medical schools from all six geo-political zones in Nigeria. The Southeast body is one of the six regions under the national association.
A virtual (Zoom) ceremony for handing out the awards was held on Friday, December 16, 2022. A national version that involves all the medical schools in Nigeria also holds annually. The 2022 (2nd edition) of that was held on October 29, 2022 (details HERE).
Topic for this year’s essay, which was received between November 17th and 30th, 2022 is:
“In early 2022, the OCI Foundation launched a free digital cervical cancer screening center in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, and signaled an intention to establish a second one in Awka, Anambra State, before the end of 2022; In view of the OCI Foundation’s quest to promote cervical cancer screenings in Nigeria, analyze the current state of cervical cancer screening in Nigeria, identify the limitations it faces, and proffer possible solutions”.
It should be recalled the, in August 2020, the OCI Foundation sponsored the first-ever Literary Award for Medical Students (LAMS). At the time, it was staged only for the medical schools South-East geopolitical zone of Nigeria, who initiated the idea. In 2021, a national contest, involving medical schools in Nigeria’s six geo-political zones, was also introduced, in what will also be an annual event. These are all in line with Dr Ifediora’s firm commitment to inspiring youths and medical undergraduates across the Nigerian nation.
LAMS is designed to identify, inspire, and reward medical students who show literary dexterity.
The OCI Foundation’s decision to support the Nigerian medical students via the LAMS Initiative was an easy one, given that the Foundation’s Founder, Assoc Prof Chris Ifediora, was very active in NiMSA activities in his undergraduate days. He was also an alumnus of the SE Zone of NiMSA, having been a prominent member of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Medical Students Association (NAUMSA).
As a medical undergraduate, Dr Ifediora, who was nicknamed “the Scribe” due to his literary prowess, served as the Secretary-General of the Federation of African Medical Students’ Associations, FAMSA (the body of all African medical students) in 2001. Before then, at the NiMSA General Assembly hosted by the College of Medicine, University of Lagos (Nigeria), he contested for, and lost narrowly in a very keenly contest election for the Director of the NiMSA Standing Committee on Medical Education (SCOME). He remained active in NiMSA, featuring prominently in the associations national activities across all regions of Nigeria between 1999 and 2002. He was also an invited delegate to the General Assembly of the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA) in Taipei, Taiwan (2001), but, for reasons beyond his control, he failed to attend, despite obtaining the required visa.
Dr Ifediora also served as the Secretary Generals of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Medical Students Association (NAUMSA) and the ROTARACT Club of Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital (ROTA-NAUTH), among other positions. He was a recipient of the inaugural “Most Academically Outstanding Medical Student Award”, offered by the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Medical Student’s Association (NAUMSA).
His exposures to a balanced mix of academics and politics helped him hone his literary skills, which has guided him to achieve excellence in his careers to date as a medical practitioner, researcher and academic. Those skills were also vital in his sojourn through institutions in the United Kingdom (University of Liverpool), the United States of America (Harvard Medical School) and Australia (Griffith University).
These underlie his firm convictions that developing literary skills among doctors can unlock huge potentials that significantly complements medical practice, and the LAMS Initiative is his way of inspiring our upcoming doctors in this regard.
For the records, the OCI (Onyebuchi Chris Ifediora) Foundation is an international (Nigerian-Australian) non-profit, charity organisation established with the aim of breaking down barriers to the attainment of excellence among Nigerians through Education, Health and Empowerment/Charity Activities. The LAMS Initiative is a component of the Foundation’s Educational project, which has 5 other scholarship schemes under it. These scholarships can be found HERE.
Even though only the Eight Medical Students’ Associations under the SE Zone of NiMSA will be benefiting from this LAMS Initiative for now, the OCI Foundation is open to the possibility of expanding the program across the entire Six NiMSA zones in Nigeria.