Engagements for the ArOY Health Campaign: Plateau State of Nigeria and the OCI Foundation meet in Jos, ahead of the Statewide roll-out (25/01/2021)

Engagements for the ArOY Health Campaign: Plateau State of Nigeria and the OCI Foundation meet in Jos, ahead of the Statewide roll-out (25/01/2021)

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As part of its quest to spread the Arm Our Youths (ArOY) Health Campaign across all of Nigeria’s 36 States, the OCI Foundation, on Monday, January the 25th, 20201, were guests of the Support Women Initiatives to Transform Children (SWITCH) Foundation, which is an NGO of the First Lady of Plateau State, Nigeria, Her Excellency, Mrs. Regina Bako Lalong.

The meeting, hosted by Mr Jonah, the Director of Security within the Plateau State Government House, in Jos, the capital city of the State, will probably mark the beginning of a planned involvement of Plateau State in the nationwide roll-out of the ArOY Campaign. Hon Mrs Zainab Isok led the First Lady’s team from the SWITCH Foundation, and was accompanied by Mr Henry Gotip and Mr Cyril Gotip, who are the Secretary and ICT coordinator of the SWITCH Foundation, respectively.

On its part, the OCI Foundation was led by the Foundation’s Social and Entertainment Liaison Officer, Mr Luter Ikyobo, accompanied by 2 other members of the Foundation’s Advocacy Team in Plateau State.

This is the third time the OCI Foundation is having a presence in Jos. In August 2020, the Foundation partnered with two different dance groups to produce some cancer-prevention awareness videos. Details of that outing can be found here.

Again, in January 2021, the OCI Foundation received a “Merit Award for Excellence”, at the “2020 Luster Beam Entertainment (LBE) Award”, in ceremony, held at the Ornate Pavillion Centre, Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria.

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, 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).

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