The First Lady, Aisha Buhari, has declared her unflinching support for OCI Foundation and the fight against breast and cervical cancer to reduce its prevalence in the country.
Buhari made the declaration in her remark at the National inauguration of the Arm Our Youths (ArOY) Anti-Cancer Health Campaign on Thursday, in Abuja.
The wife of the president was represented by the Wife of Vice President, Mrs Dolapo Yemi Osinbajo.
The event was organised by OCI Foundation in collaboration with NYSC and supported by Nigerian Cancer Society (NCS), First Ladies Against Cancer (FLAC), Sweet Home Africa Humanitarian Foundation and other stakeholders.
“It is important to ensure that we do everything possible to reduce the rate of mortality associated with cervical cancer. My Future Assured Initiative has been doing a lot in the campaign.
“I intend to do more and partner with more organisations such as NCS and OCI Foundation until we overcome the negative health outcomes associated with cancer.
“I wish to declare my support for OCI Foundation, and the fight against all forms of cancer. I wish to also use this medium to call on cancer stakeholders to exact more effort in awareness creation amongst our citizens.
“It is also important to come up with new ideas such as this cascade campaign to Secondary schools,” she said.
In his opening remark, Maj.-Gen. Shuaibu Ibrahim, the Director-General of NYSC said Health service to community is one of the cardinal programmes which occupy his heart.
Ibrahim was represented by Mrs Victoria Ango, the Director of Corps Mobilization at the NYSC Headquarters.
“It is therefore gratifying to note that the partnership between the OCI Foundation and the NYSC corps members for awareness on Cancer would not have come at a better time than now.
“The awareness might, among other things, reduce medical tourism and conserve the hard-earned foreign currency of Nigerians.
“Thus, creating awareness to enable Nigerians prevent or better manage this ailment is quite commendable. The NYSC is far more determined than you can imagine to carry out the awareness to all the nooks and crannies of Nigeria.
“I commend the enormous efforts and sacrifices of the OCI Foundation towards the success of this project. May God give every stakeholder the grace to sustain the programme for desired impact,” Ibrahim said.
In his address of welcome, the President of OCI Foundation, Prof. Chris Ifediora, said the ArOY Health Campaign offers an innovative approach to stemming the scourge of breast and cervical cancer among Nigerians.
According to him, the principles behind it are novel, and were developed from research championed by the Foundation and her associates.
“It is a programme supported by WHO and endorsed by the prestigious Harvard Medical School, USA as well as institutions in Australia, Canada and Sweden.
“The campaign seeks to introduce anti-breast and anti-cervical programme into the NYSC orientation activities across Nigeria.
“It also aims to include preventive teachings into the academic curriculum of all Senior Secondary Schools in Nigeria’s 36 state of the federation and the FCT before the end of 2025.
“The programme with the NYSC is expected to commence with the Batch A of the 2022 corps members, which should be within a few weeks from now.
“We have already trained over 95 per cent of the personnel needed, and these include staff of NYSC and the Nigerian Cancer Society across the 36 States and FCT,” Ifediora said.
The event attracted officials from the Presidency, National Assembly, NYSC, HMS, FLAC, National Orientation Agency, Ministry of Women Affairs, NCS, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Cancer Survivors, Secondary School Students, teachers amomg others.