20 Oct 2020 ArOY Health Campaign: Nasarawa State of Nigeria commences deliberations with the OCI Foundation, ahead of the Statewide roll-out (20/10/2020)
As part of its quest to spread the Arm Our Youths (ArOY) Health Campaign across all of Nigeria’s 36 States, a 4-man delegation of the OCI Foundation were hosted by Hajia Halima Ahmadu JABIRU, the Honourable Commissioner of Women Affairs and Social Development, Nasarawa State, Nigeria. This event, which also had in attendance, the acting Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr Augustine ASHIKENI, as well as Mrs Eunice Bosua, the CEO of a Nigerian-based NGO called “Excellent Leadership for Sustainable Development and Good Governance”. This NGO is an official partner of the OCI Foundation regarding the ArOY Health Campaign.
The meeting, which was very productive, deliberated on ways that schools and indigenes of Nasarawa State will become part of the national roll-out of the Campaign. The OCI Foundation’s delegation was led by the Foundation’s Head of Advocacy Team, Mr Sam Agwa, who was accompanied by Ms Felicia Dagu (Admin Officer III), Mr Luter Ikyobo, and Mr Ifeanyi Anueyiagu.
It should be noted that the ArOY Campaign is a novel, Harvard-endorsed, WHO-supported, and evidence-based health promotion initiative of the OCI Foundation, which is being introduced across all senior secondary schools in Nigeria as a way of tackling breast and cervical cancers. In September 2019, it was rolled out across all the 261 senior secondary schools in Anambra State of Nigeria, and a similar event, scheduled for Benue State in May 2020, was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. All of Nigeria’s 36 states (and the FCT) are expected to benefit from the ArOY campaign on or before the end of 2025, and the ongoing consultations are part of this whole process.
At this meeting, the OCI Foundation was represented by a 5-man team drawn from its Advocacy Team, and lead by the Team Head, Mr Sam Agwa. Other representatives on the day were Ms Felicia Dagu (Admin Officer III), Mrs Sandra Udeike (the Media Liaison Consultant), Mr Ifeanyi Anueyiagu, and Dr Theophilus Nwokeocha.
The ArOY Health Campaign has the support of the, NextGenU.org (the World’s first online University), the United States Centers for Disease Control (U.S. CDC) and the University of British Columbia, Canada (ranked 45th in the world, according to the 2021 QS World University Ranking). Experts from these institutions, along with others from the University of Saskatchewan (Canada) and the Griffith University (Australia), will work with the OCI Foundation and the Nigerian Government on the roll-out, implementation and monitoring of the ArOY project. In addition, the prestigious Harvard Medical School, USA, of which Dr Chris Ifediora (the Founder of the OCI Foundation) is an Alumnus of, had earlier endorsed the Campaign, and made significant contributions to the Campaign’s design ahead of its roll out in Anambra State last year.
A number of other reputable Nigerian institutions partnering the OCI Foundation on this initiative include the Innoson Group, the NYSC (National Office), the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs (Nigeria), Nollywood Nigeria, the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, the Anambra Broadcasting Service (ABS), Silk Road Restaurant (Abuja), and the Post Primary Schools Service Commission, PPSSC (Anambra state), among others.
There are also plans to involve the Office of the First Lady of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Nigeria’s Governor’s Forum (which includes the Governors of all the 36 States of Nigeria), and Nigeria’s ministries of Health, Education and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).