23 Oct Full Story (with Pics and Videos), as OCI Foundation and Partners Successfully stages the One Day Seminar on the “ArOY Health Campaign” for NYSC delegates from Nigeria’s 36 states and the FCT (Abuja, Nigeria; 19/10/21)
Abuja, Nigeria (October 19, 2021)
The OCI Foundation has successfully organized a one-day consultation and planning meeting/seminar for NYSC delegates from Nigeria’s 36 states and the FCT. The seminar is part of the novel, Harvard-endorsed, WHO-supported and evidence-based health promotion initiative of the OCI Foundation called “Arm Our Youths (ArOY) Health Campaign”.
The internationally-endorsed ArOY Campaign seeks to introduce anti-breast and anti-cervical cancer programs into the regular activities of the NYSCs orientation activities across Nigeria, and the OCI Foundation is at the forefront of conception, design and implementation of this advocacy. The ArOY Campaign also aims to include the preventive teachings into the academic curriculum of all senior secondary schools Nigeria, and the OCI Foundation, in addition to working with Nigerian First Ladies, have reached out to the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council(NERDC) which is the body saddled with curriculum changes at the national level.
The OCI Foundation-sponsored one-day seminar, which comes ahead of a grand national roll-out in early February 2022, was delivered in partnership with the Nigerian Cancer Society (NCS), the Sweet Home Africa Humanitarian Foundation (SHAHF) and, of course, the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC). It has the support of the Nigerian First Ladies Against Cancer (FLAC), and was done as part of the strategic effort to orientate all partners in the Arm Our Youths (ArOY) Health Campaign project.
ROLL CALL: FULL LIST OF ATTENDEES
- Director-General of the NYSC, Brig. Gen. Shuaibu Ibrahim (Chief Host)
- Representatives of the Nigerian Presidency: Chief Femi Adesina (Special Adviser to the Nigerian President on Media and Publicity) and Pastor Seyi Malomo (Chaplain, Aso Rock Villa Chapel)
- Her Excellency, Dr Amina Bello, the First Lady of Niger State and Chairperson, “First Ladies Against Cancer (FLAC)”
- Her Excellency, Chief (Mrs) Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, the First Lady of Ondo State (Represented)
- The Honourable Minister of Women Affairs Her Excellency, Paulen Tallen (Represented)
- The Honourable Ministers Education, His Excellency, Mallam Adamu Adamu (Represented)
- The DG, National Orientation Agency, Dr. Garba Abari
- The Chairman, House Committee on Healthcare Services, Hon Dr Yusuf Tanko Sununu
- The Executive Secretary, FCT Primary Health Care Board (FCT-PHCB), Dr Ndaeyo Iwot
- The Program Manager (Nigeria) Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI)
- The Clinical Director (Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee), Federal Medical Centre, Jabi, Abuja, Nigeria, Dr Joe Eziechila
- Dr Godwin Maduka, Founder, Las Vegas Pain Institute and Medical Centre, Las Vegas, USA., and Gubernatorial Candidate for the November 6 Anambra State election.
- His Royal Majesty, Amb. Dr. Igwe Ochendo Chukwudi (Ogidi-Igbo, Ezeigbo Ado-Karu kingdom), representing traditional rulers of all 3 major tribes in Nigeria that are in Abuja
- The Team lead, Edu Radio Talk Magazine Programme, Mr Omang Dave
- Officers of the NYSC from all the 36 states of Nigeria (and the FCT), along with officers from the NYSCs National Headquarters in Abuja, Nigeria
- About 40 Serving corps members posted to the FCT, Nigeria
- Members of the Nigerian Cancer Society (NCS), led by its President, Dr Adamu Alhassan Umar
- Members of the Sweet Home Africa Humanitarian Foundation (SHAHF), led by its Founder, Rev Dr Austin Epunam
- Members of the OCI Foundation, led by Mr Sam Agwa, the Head of Advocacy
- CEOs of OCI Foundation’s partner NGOs, along with other groups, individuals, guests and associates of the OCI Foundation
- Members of the Nigerian Media (Print and Electronic)
Notable Comments from some Guests:
(1) Prof. Chris Ifediora, Founder and President of OCI Foundation (Virtual Speech):
“When fully implemented, ArOY health campaign will offer a novel option that will complement existing anti-cancer measures for tackling both breast and cervical cancers.
“And this will significantly contribute to the global eradication of cervical cancer. It is aligned with a number of items in the SDGs. It is a campaign that we should all support.
“This campaign is designed to be wide-reaching, sustainable and cost effective, that even in the absence of the OCI which we do not envisage, the programme with the NYSC and other partners will continue for generations,” Ifediora said.
(2) Director-General of NYSC, Brig.-Gen. Shuaibu Ibrahim (represented by Mr Hillary Lassan, the Director, Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development Department):
“What the OCI tabled before the NYSC synchronised well with the philosophy of the Scheme, whose activities were anchored on the public good.
“So, the NYSC bought into the vision of the organisation wholesale, to join hands to create general awareness on the scourge of breast and cervical cancers and also create awareness on the preventive measures and curative paths.
“So, it is a whole lot and we believe we can make our society and the country better. We can make the larger segment of the population, which are youths and women and also the men, to be healthier and aware of what to do.
“This programme will succeed because NYSC has a presence in the 774 Local Government areas in the country, except for few, where there are security challenges. NYSC has a communication network and quality central command,” Ibrahim said.
(3) Mr Femi Adesina, Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari (President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria):
“The Arm Our Youth (ArOY) Health Campaign is very germane in the sense that women and youths constituted the larger part of the Nigerian population.
“And by the time you have reached the youths, you have reached the largest chunk of the Nigerian population. So this message of health and wellness is something that needs to resonate around the country,” Adesina said.
The President commended the OCI Foundation for partnering with the NYSC, pointing out that with the presence of corps members in all parts of the country, the message is already delivered.
According to him, the campaign on cancer needs to resonate around the country due to the deadly nature of the disease, adding that the required knowledge about it is very important as well as early detection to help in combating the scourge.
“The Muhammadu Buhari administration is on record as being the first in this country to have considered perhaps what is called the Cancer Fund. It is going to be launched officially later, but already there is a yearly budgetary provision to fight cancer in the country.
“It is the first of its kind in Nigeria’s history. The Muhammadu Buhari administration has set aside a certain percentage of the budget annually to fight cancer. There is still going to be a formal launch and presentation of the Cancer Fund,” Adesina stated.
He, therefore, commended the OCI Foundation for being a partner of the federal government in the fight against cancer, saying “together, we will fight against cancer and together, we will make advances.”
(4) First Lady of Niger and Chairperson of FLAC, Her Excellency, Dr (Mrs) Amina Abubakar Bello:
“Involving the NYSC in the campaign would go a long way to reach every part of the country.
“So, it is significant that with this collaboration, the whole of Nigeria would have the correct information of what cervical cancer is, how it can be detected and prevented”.
“It is a laudable project and I wish the organisers success in this endeavour,”.
(5) Mr Garba Abari, the Director-General of the National Orientation Agency (NOA):
“The issue of cancer in local communities was shrouded in cultural and traditional beliefs.
“We in the NOA are trying as much as possible to work with traditional, community, and religious leaders to get together and develop a messaging strategy that will resonate with the culture of the people.
“This will help to fight cervical and breast cancer in a more acceptable way that the locals and communities would accept and benefit from,” Abari said.
(6) Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen (represented by Mrs. Ebele Obiefuna):
She stressed the need to create awareness on cancer which has killed many Nigerians due to a low level of sensitization and awareness. The minister listed some major ways to eliminate cancer in Nigeria to include making the screening of cancer compulsory and free for all citizens in every health institution to reduce the incidence of the disease, and proper training for the health personnel, especially the public health service providers. She also stated that cancer screening centres should be equipped and made accessible as well as affordable for all patients, while cases of women with the virus should be incorporated into the national programme on immunization, NPI schedule for the total elimination of the disease and prevention of deaths. Tallen added that organisations like the OCI Foundation should be supported to boost cancer education in the country, adding that the ministry has always supported such initiatives by relevant bodies, especially the Ministry of Health by providing the basic needs for prevention, free screening and awareness campaigns on the danger of cancer and early detection.
To watch individual speeches from all the guests, click HERE.
To see video clips from different aspects of the ceremony, click HERE.
To watch the full speech from the OCI Foundation’s President, click HERE.
To see videos of all official news coverages and reports, click HERE.
To see all the pictures from the event, click HERE.