The Unity Schools Old Students Association (USOSA), the umbrella body of all Unity Schools in Nigeria, under the aegis of USOSANs in Lagos, has concluded plans to hold the second edition of its Health and Wellness Walk. It is slated for Saturday March 28, 2020.
Lawrence Wilbert, President General (PG) of USOSA, said the need for USOSA, the largest and foremost alumni association in Nigeria, to lead constructive advocacy on national issues with the objective of improving humanity. His words, “The Walk, a routine activity organised by USOSANs across major cities around the country, affords us an opportunity to bring the attention of the country to one of the most significant health challenges of our time, which is Renal failure.
“The ailment has been on the rise, affecting a lot of people especially our members. We hope that the narrative we create around the disease during the Walk, would bring the appropriate action from the relevant public and private stakeholders.” Wilbert further stated that health insurance programmes should be a must for every citizen, and USOSA is exploring partnerships with Health Management Organisations (HMOs) under a new health insurance programme to ensure USOSANS and their families are adequately covered.”
Maureen Akpofure-Awobokun, the Team Leader for USOSANs in Lagos and National President of Federal Government College Warri Old Students Association (FEGOCOWOSA), who also spoke about the programme said, “The Health and Awareness Walk is a strategic initiative to create awareness about the importance of kidney health and the rapidly increasing cases of kidney (renal) failure in Nigeria.
“The healthcare system in Nigeria must be geared towards proper preventive measures for care of the kidney and also provide adequate and affordable care for those suffering from kidney related ailments. One of the critical objectives for us is to emphasise the role that lifestyle choices play in maintaining a healthy kidney.”
Quoting a report by the Nigerian Association of Nephrology (NAN), in 2018, she noted that about 25 million Nigerians, which is close to 14% of the total population, have been diagnosed with kidney failure, affecting mostly those in the working age population. This presents strong social and economic reasons to stem the tide of this scourge in Nigeria. Maureen said as perhaps Nigeria’s largest alumni association, they have a big role to play in reversing this alarming situation.
Providing further explanation on the exercise, Rosanna Oriye, Coordinator of the Walk and National President of Federal Government Girls College, Abuloma Old Girls Association said, “We have made extensive plans to ensure the health and safety of all participants, including the provision of security and traffic personnel, water points and mobile ambulance to ensure that members who need care are attended to. There will be educational materials on kidney health to help discussions during the sensitization programme.”
The walk, which would begin from the National Stadium will tour through Surulere, its environs and back (Akerele, Ogunlana Drive, Alhaji Masha). The Health & Wellness Walk is expected to attract hundreds of members drawn from all the Unity schools’ Alumni resident in Lagos and will kick off at 7.00 am on Saturday March 28, 2020.