By Daniel Tyokua
The OCI Foundation’s Arm our Youths (ArOY) Health Campaign received a huge international boost a few days ago, as a number of the world’s powerful institutions and universities indicated support for the novel, life-saving initiative.
In a letter by the Canadian-based Prof. Erica Frank (Founder of NextGenU.org, in essence, the world’s first free University) and dated July 13th, 2020, it was indicated that, the American Centers for Disease Control (American CDC), along with NextGenU.org and the Universities of British Columbia and Saskatchewan (all in Canada), will be supporting the OCI Foundation’s nationwide rollout of the ArOY Campaign across Nigeria, as well as the research component of the initiative.
“It is with the strongest possible endorsement in my capacity as UBC Professor and Canada Research Chair in Preventive Medicine and Population Health, and as the Founder/Inventor of NextGenU.org that I write in support of the Onyebuchi Chris Ifediora (OCI Foundation)”, Prof. Frank stated.
Prof. Frank, who, in addition to being the Inventor and Founder of NextGenU.org, is also the Canada Research Chair in Preventive Medicine and Population Health at the University of British Columbia, went further to state that “This partnership includes support from the extraordinary team assembled by Drs. Ifediora (Founder of the OCI Foundation) and Mutwiri (University of Saskatchewan), as well as the U.S. CDC, with which NextGenU.org has an extensive collaboration, where they have been developing and disseminating cervical cancer prevention education.”
She added: “We are keen to further develop and study the effects of these resources and expertise in partnership with the OCI Foundation, and believe these initiatives to be essential and novel, with the potential to create significant impacts in the lives of young people and their communities globally.”
Recall that the ArOY Campaign is an innovative and evidence-based health promotion program that was conceived by the OCI Foundation, and designed to introduce anti-breast cancer and anti-cervical cancer teachings into the regular curriculum of all Nigerian senior secondary schools, using measures that are sustainable, cost-effective, all-encompassing, and culturally-acceptable.
It already has the endorsements of experts from the Harvard Medical School (USA), the WHO Nigeria, and the Griffith University (Australia).
The Onyebuchi Chris Ifediora (OCI) Foundation, a Nigerian-Australian international NGO, aims to introduce the Campaign across all the senior secondary schools in Nigeria, between now and 2025.
It has already successfully done so across all the 261 eligible schools in Anambra State, and are in advanced talks to do the same in Benue State and with the NYSC, before the COVID-19 lockdown took effect across the world.
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), 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.
The OCI Foundation is in a nationwide consultation with major stakeholders in Health, Education and other institutions across Nigeria, in efforts to expand its partners, ahead of a massive launch of the ArOY Campaign as soon as the COVID-19 lockdowns are eased.