OCI Foundation hosts NiMSA, as the leadership of Nigeria’s body of medical students visits the Foundation’s office in Abuja, Nigeria (April 26th, 2021)

OCI Foundation hosts NiMSA, as the leadership of Nigeria’s body of medical students visits the Foundation’s office in Abuja, Nigeria (April 26th, 2021)

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On Monday, April the 26th, 2021, the National Leadership of the Nigerian Medical Students Association (NiMSA), were guests of the OCI Foundation at its Abuja Office in Sinoki House, Abuja, Nigeria.

NiMSA was led by its current President (Comr. Umar Muhammed Danbuba) and was accompanied by its National Treasurer/ Representative of the NiMSA Secretariat (Comr. Abdullahi Garba), both of which are from the University of Maiduguri School of Medicine.

Comrade Webster Onuorah of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Medical School, who is current Director of the NiMSA Foundation as well as the immediate past Coordinator of the South-East Medical Schools, was also in the NiMSA delegation.

The NiMSA delegation were all received on behalf of the OCI Foundation by the Head of Advocacy Team (Sam Agwa), and the Administrative Officer (Felicia Dagu), and were given complimentary copies of the ArOY Campaign Textbook, a production of the OCI Foundation for the fight against breast and cervical cancers in Nigeria.

In August 2020, the OCI Foundation announced a partnership with the South East (SE) Zone of the Nigerian Medical Student’s Association (NiMSA), and commenced the sponsorship of an annual Literary Award for Medical Students (LAMS) Initiative, as a way to identify, inspire, and reward medical students who show literary dexterity.

There are plans to make LAMS a national program involving all the medical schools in Nigeria before the end of 2021. Details and FAQs can be found HERE.

Dr Fatima Anga Inusa, a medical practitioner based in Abuja, Nigeria, is the current OCI Foundation’s Liaison Officer in charge of the LAMS Initiative.

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.

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