Winners of the “2020 LAMS Initiative” of the OCI Foundation; Award Presentation Ceremony held on October 10th, 2020.

Winners of the “2020 LAMS Initiative” of the OCI Foundation; Award Presentation Ceremony held on October 10th, 2020.

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The OCI Foundation is pleased to announce the winners of its Inaugural (2020) Edition of the Literary Award for Medical Students (LAMS) Initiative. This contest was carried out in conjunction with the South East Zone of the Nigerian Medical Students’ Association (NiMSA).

The listed winners were the top 10 out of 127 high-quality essay submissions that were received between the 20th of August, 2020, to  10th  of September, 2020. The top 2 winning submissions are attached further down.

All the medical students that belong to the 8 Medical Students Associations located in South-east Nigeria, were eligible for this contest. The OCI Foundation is the sole sponsors of this annual Award, which is designed to identify, inspire, and reward medical students who show literary dexterity. Details and FAQs can be found HERE.

A Virtual Award Ceremony for handing out the awards to the 10 winners was held on Saturday, October the 10th, 2020, starting from 1pm (West African Time). The OCI Foundation’s President and Founder, Dr Chris Ifediora, was the Special Guest of Honour at the event, which was hosted by Mr Webster ONUORAH, the NiMSA South-east Regional Coordinator.

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.

The Top 2 winning essays for the 2020 LAMS initiative can be downloaded by clicking Essay 1st Place _107 AND Essay 2nd Place_63, or by expanding the respective images below:

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. 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.

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