Big boost for the ArOY Health CAMPAIGN, as the NERDC boss hosts the OCI Foundation in Abuja, Nigeria (October 5, 2021).

Big boost for the ArOY Health CAMPAIGN, as the NERDC boss hosts the OCI Foundation in Abuja, Nigeria (October 5, 2021).

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On Monday, October the 5th, 2021, the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Educational Research Development Council (NERDC), Prof Ismail Junaidu, hosted a 5-man delegation of the OCI Foundation in Abuja, Nigeria. Also in attendance was Dr Garba Dahiru Gandu, a prominent staff f NERDC.

NERDC is the top body saddled with the formulation and implementation of educational policies in Nigeria, and the OCI Foundation’s ArOY Health Campaign seeks to integrate anti-breast and anti-cervical cancer teachings into the curriculum of all senior secondary schools in Nigeria.

The OCI Foundation’s team was led by Mr Sam Agwa, the Head of Advocacy. Other team members at the event were Alhaji Abdullahi Aliyu Rufai (Networking Manager), Mr Luter Ikyobo (Social Liaison Officer), Dr Fatima Inusa (Gynocular and LAMS Director) and Ms Felicia Dagu (Admin officer).

It was a productive meeting, and we look forward to the dividends soon.

It should be noted that the ArOY Campaign is a novel, Harvard-endorsedWHO-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.

The ArOY Health Campaign has the support of the, (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),  Nigeria’s National Orientation Agency (NOA), the Federal Ministry of Health (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).

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