By Angela Okeke
The Nigerian Cancer Society is to collaborate with the OCI Foundation (an international NGO) to advance the course of cancer care in Nigeria.
The collaboration is in the area of Arm Our Youths (ArOY) Health Campaign, whose primary aim is to introduce anti-breast and anti-cervical cancer studies in the curriculum of all senior secondary schools in Nigeria.
The Arm Our Youths Health Campaign commenced in 2019, and aims to cover all the states of Nigeria by 2025.
The decision was reached after a virtual meeting and Award ceremony, organized by the Nigerian Medical Students Association (NIMSA), and sponsored by Prof. Chris Ifediora, the president of the OCI Foundation.
The President of the Nigeria Cancer Society (NCS), Dr. Adamu Al-hassan, posited that the First Ladies Against Cancer (FLAC) is another veritable partner in addressing cancer related issues in Nigeria and would be reached out to, to ensure the success of the health campaign.
He said that the NCS remains open to discuss the details and similar programmes that will follow, which will ultimately translate to benefits for our teeming population. Dr. Adamu described the ArOY Initiative which focuses on prevention and education as timely and well intentioned, explaining that the components were the bedrock strategy employed at the NCS in line with the dictum of “prevention is better than cure”
Responding, Prof. Ifediora said that the partnership (NCS-FLAC-OCI Foundation) will expedite the roll-out of the Arm Our Youths (ArOY) Health Campaign across all senior secondary schools in Nigerian, and will be a big win for the anti-cancer fight in Nigeria. He said that already, the OCI Foundation has the ideas, technology, and plans to get this partnership to a glittering start, and we will be bringing all of these into this partnership.Prof. Ifediora explained that the Foundation was already in touch with a number of the First Ladies, some of which are active members of FLAC. He made particular reference to the First Ladies of Niger, Benue, Kebbi, Ondo and Nasarrawa states, stressing that the awareness of the ArOY Health Campaign, will make a formalization of this 3-way partnership easy.According to him, “our associations with the Federal Ministries of Health and Women Affairs, as well as the National Orientation Agency (NOA) and the NYSC, will all be leveraged to ensure that this partnership yields the huge and sustained dividends it has the potentials for”.
He said that a virtual meeting is being worked out where all the First Ladies involved, can participate in. “This way, we will make sure that all the partners are on the same page, and that as many states as possible will buy into the project, and be ready for a roll-out by the end of this year, as is currently planned with Niger and Benue states, as well as with the NYSC”.