Progress on the establishment of the first free Gynocular Screening Centre in Nigeria, as the FCT PHC Board hosts an OCI Foundation delegation in Abuja (2/11/21)

Progress on the establishment of the first free Gynocular Screening Centre in Nigeria, as the FCT PHC Board hosts an OCI Foundation delegation in Abuja (2/11/21)

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Tuesday, November 2, 2021

The OCI Foundation’s team in Abuja, again met with representatives of the Primary Health Care Board (PHCB) of Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.

This is part of the negotiations towards the establishment of a digital cervical cancer screening centre within Nigeria’s FCT in Abuja, as part of the OCI Foundation’s “Gynocular Project“. There are also plans to establish a second screening centre in Anambra State of Nigeria.

The PHCB’s team was led in this meeting by its Acting Executive Secretary, Dr Ndaeyo IWOT, while the OCI Foundation’s 4-man team included Dr Fatima Inusa, Ms Felicia Dagu, Mr Luter IKYOBO and Dr Theophilus NWOKEOCHA.

The OCI Foundation is fully registered with Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory (FCT), and this meeting marks the official engagement between the FCT-PHCB and the OCI Foundation on the issues regarding the establishment of the Gynocular Project. The first was on Friday, May 21, 2021 (details HERE), while the third was on Wednesday, July 28, 2021 (details HERE).

When fully in place, this service, tagged the OCI Foundation’s  GYNOCULAR PROJECT, will arguably offer an advanced and reliable cervical screening test to Nigerians. And this will be done in a largely for free.

It is to be offered free (or at highly subsidized costs) 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). Between May 14th and 15th, 2021, the OCI Foundation conducted a physical training of its Abuja staff, ahead of the commencement of this project.

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.

Already, a number of medical experts affiliated to the OCI Foundation’s team in Nigeria have received a preliminary training via a Zoom meeting on February the 11th, 2021, and further training will be provided ahead of the full roll-out. Images (published with permission) from the Zoom meeting (attached), and included experts from Gynius, the Swedish manufactures of the device.

To further entrench quality and ensure that results from this screening are reliable and are available within hours, the OCI Foundation has commenced the process of establishing a team of world-leading experts from Nigeria, Australia, Canada and the USA in order to establish of a pool of highly-trained experts of proven expertise, who will remotely view and report on the samples through telemedicine.

So, if you are a Gynae-oncologist, or have expertise in the field, and will be willing to be part of this game-changing move by the OCI Foundation, please reach out to us now via this link. This is irrespective of wherever you might be in the world.

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).

Practical Demonstration 1

Practical Demonstration 2

Appreciation from the Gynocular Project Trainees . . .

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