By Franklin Onwubiko
The Onyebuchi Chris Ifediora (OCI) foundation has launched a massive campaign aimed at equipping young women and men with the requisite knowledge towards curtailing the risks associated with breast and cervical cancers in the communities.
The campaign which was tagged: “Arm Our Youths Health (ArOY)Campaign” was slated from 10th to 12th of September, 2019 and held in Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.
Addressing participants, the founder, Dr. Ifediora explained that “ArOY campaign is the flagship health initiative of the OCI Foundation designed to be a wide-reaching, sustainable and cost-effective way of spreading anti-breast and anti-cervical cancer messages to millions of at-risk Nigerian women in a way that is timely, efficient and culturally-acceptable”.
According to him, “the campaign targets students across all Senior Secondary Schools in Nigeria by introducing the relevant teachings into their regular academic curriculum, along with assessment/examination systems.
Through the CERVIBREAST mobile phone application currently on the Android’s Google play store, this campaign will potentially be within reach of every single Nigerian”.
Dr. Ifediora disclosed that the campaign has a formal endorsement from the prestigious Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA. On partnership with interested parties, the founder posited that the Foundation is willing to work with anyone, group, all interested government and non-governmental bodies to actualize a nationwide implementation of the project.
Flagging off the campaign, the Vice-Chancellor of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Professor Charles Esimone, FAS described the initiative as laudable and worthy of support. Declaring the support and partnership of the University, Professor Esimone maintained the fight against cancer is a collective responsibility of everybody. In his words, “I am very pleased to have identified with OCI and I assure you that our commitment is complete and all encompassing. I am particularly excited on the sustainability measure of this campaign as it would go a long way in reducing mortality rate caused by breast and cervical cancer”.
In her remark, the Honourable Commissioner for Basic Education Anambra State, Prof. Azuka Kate Omenugha, averred that cervical and breast cancers are major challenges of healthcare ravaging developing countries particularly Nigeria.
According to Prof. Omenugha who was represented by the Director of Schools Department, Ministry of Basic Education, Dr. Ray Ofor, Cervical cancer is the fourth most frequent cancer in women worldwide, adding that it’s the second most common in developing countries like Nigeria particularly among women aged between 15-44yrs. She also opined that data from 2012 revealed that over 400,000 new cases reported across the world, about 84% occurred in developing countries, in addition of the approximately over 200,000 cases.
The Professor of Mass Communication, however commended the OCI foundation for their intervention in tackling the menace and further called on the government , nongovernmental organizations, philanthropic individuals, academic institutions and the general public to join this campaign.
She further stressed that the OCI foundation has taken the lead in Nigeria, as there is need for all hands to be on deck to make a success of this fight and thus ameliorate the devastating effects of cervical and breast cancers in our society.
Highpoint of the flag-off ceremony include presentation of certificates to sponsors and ambassadors as well as unveiling Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Innoson Group, Anambra Broadcasting Service (ABS) as partners in progress.
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