18 Apr 2021 The Gynocular Project: OCI Foundation’s President joins Australian Cervical Cancer Society; Undertakes a 2-day Colposcopy and Cervical Disease Course (April 2021).
April 17th and 18th, 2021: The OCI Foundation’s Founder and President, Assoc. Prof. Chris Ifediora, attended a 2-day Cervical Cancer Disease and Colposcopy Seminar at the Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort, Gold Coast, Australia.
In March 2021, Dr Ifediora formally joined the Australian Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology (ASCCP).
These actions are in preparation for the roll-out of the OCI Foundation’s Gynocular Project, a digital cervical cancer screening program for Nigerians, that will be offered either free, or at highly subsidized costs.
As can be seen on the attached image below (Courtesy of ASCCP Gold Coast Course, April 2021), Australia aims to eradicate cervical cancer within 10 years from 2018 (meaning that they will achieve this by 2028). Through the efforts and innovations of the OCI Foundation, Nigeria can be placed on a similar trajectory, and this is the main goal of the OCI Foundation’s Arm Our Youths (ArOY) Health Campaign.
Recently (on Tuesday, March 9th, 2021), the OCI Foundation took possession of its newly-purchased sets of Gynocular Kits, which will enable it fulfil its promise on the GYNOCULAR PROJECT, which aims to introduce digital cervical cancer screening procedures across Nigeria. This was in line with the Foundation’s official release on February 23rd, 2021, advising Nigerians to expect this service.
As is widely known, the OCI Foundation intends to introduce a free cervical cancer screening service that will adopt a state-of-the-art digital and portable technology. This service will be offered largely free (or at tokens) to Nigerians, as the Foundation rolls out its novel anti-cancer health initiative tagged Arm Our Youths (ArOY) Health Campaign moves across all the 36 states of Nigeria (and the FCT).
When fully in place, this service will, arguably, offer the most advanced and most reliable cervical screening test to Nigerians (relative to the current procedures available in the country). And this will be done in a largely for free.
The Gynocular has cutting edge optics and LED technology, and can be used in any health setting in the world (both urban and rural). It will be very suitable for remote locations in Nigeria, and can be used by any staff trained to do so, not necessarily medical practitioners. In addition to offering free services to all the states of Nigeria during the ArOY Health Campaign roll outs in the respective states, the OCI Foundation intends to set up permanent screening centres in its Awka and Abuja locations, where the services will be rendered in an ongoing basis at token fees to Nigerian women, irrespective of their states of origin, tribe, or religious and political affiliations.
The ArOY program is already fully functional in Anambra State (since September 2019), and Benue and Niger, among other states, have embraced the program, with the aim to roll them out later this 2021. Both states, along with Nigeria’s National Youth Service Corps, the NYSC (who are official partners of the OCI Foundation on the ArOY Campaign project), will be among the very first to benefit from the digital cervical cancer screenings of the OCI Foundation. The OCI Foundation is working with various state governors and first ladies across Nigeria in its resolve to cover the entire Country before the end of 2025, and a good number of them have been approached already, with high-level negotiations already going on.
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.
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), 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).