As we embark on the journey into November, we would like to take a moment to acknowledge the health-related milestones and awareness campaigns we observed in October. Your dedication to promoting well-being and raising awareness is truly commendable.
In October, we collectively shone a light on;
The Nigerian Independence Day was celebrated across the United States, notably with parades and floats in NYC. The 63rd Nigerian Independence Day Parade NYC 2023 included marches down Second Avenue from 54th Street to 44th Street and was held on Saturday, 7 October 2023, at 10am.
New York MIPAD (Most Influential People of African Descent), a global civil society in support of the United Nations International Decade for People of African Descent, hosted its annual event; Most Influential 100 Recognition Week 2023 following the opening of the 78th UN General Assembly in 2023 NYC. I was humbled by being ascribed the accolade for Class of 2023 Most Influential people of African Descent (MIPAD). The Global community involved was inspiring, including meeting and fellowship with the DG of The World Health Organization, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. The World Health Assembly re-appointed the Director-General to the position till 2027.
Breast Cancer Awareness: By the collaboration of members, friends, volunteers and donors we were able to raise $3,500 from the ANPA Go Pink Campaign. We more than doubled the funds raised from the year before! There are still some lovely T-Shirts for those interested. The ACS is the US based recipient, and we see collating options to bequeath the Nigerian beneficiaries of the receipt. The team pledged to raise $100,0000 towards breast cancer awareness in ten years and is well on the way to its goal!
We concluded the ANPA project ECHO on Primary care hypertension where hundreds of frontline providers and multidisciplinary teammates were educated on Hypertension and current concepts. At the same time, we initiated the ECHO on Sickle cell to share information and best practice on sickle cell with bi-directional information transfer between the Nigerian teams and Diaspora. We are in constant and close contact with the founder Sanjeev Arora, MD, MACP, FACG an Indian American physician, the founder and director of Project ECHO, a global tele-mentoring nonprofit dedicated to disseminating knowledge in rural and under-resourced communities. Created in 2003 to share expert medical knowledge, the ECHO model builds communities of practice by connecting experts and local providers through free, ongoing virtual mentoring and education. Dr. Arora is a distinguished professor and regents’ professor of medicine, director of the Office of Clinical Affairs, and executive vice chair for the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center (UNM HSC) in Albuquerque– and has been extremely supportive.
Mental Health: The Mental Health Webinar, a collaborative effort between the Rotary Club and ANPA on World Mental Health Day (held on 10th October), was a significant event aimed at raising awareness about mental health and promoting mental well-being. Through this partnership, Rotary District 9110 and ANPA organized an informative webinar that addressed various aspects of mental health, depression, suicide, resilience and also topical issues such as domestic violence awareness, prevention, and support experts discussed the importance of mental health, shared valuable insights into common mental health challenges, and provided resources and strategies for managing mental well-being. It emphasized the need for open conversations, reducing stigma, and promoting understanding and empathy for individuals facing mental health issues. The passion and commitment exhibited by our members in supporting these causes have undoubtedly contributed to fostering a healthier community.
Preparations have also begun for the 2024 ANPA Medical Week and annual Medical Mission. The 2024 Medical Week will take place in Umuahia, Abia State from 5th April to 14th April 2024. In this regard, ANPA is now accepting sponsorships, donations and registration submissions for the Medical Mission on our website. Please visit the ANPA Medical Missions page here for more details. Also, medical supplies for the upcoming medical mission may be sent to: Premier Clinics, ANPA, Care of Dr. Dele Ekunsanmi, 362 Oakland Avenue, Rock Hill, SC 29730
We posted our 8th Episode of the Closing the Gap Podcast; Over the last several decades the GDP spent on Healthcare in Nigeria has fallen and has been followed by an increase in the out-of-pocket cost to the consumer. This gap has been filled by several stop gaps, including; medical missionaries, philanthropy, healthcare entrepreneurs, education, research, diaspora remittance to name a few. Admirable persons and members of our association (www.anpa.org) have contributed to Closing this Gap; and these stories remain to be told till now. The ANPA Closing the Gap podcast shares the stories of the physicians and healthcare workers helping to close this gap. Shared as a podcast, it can be accessed on Spotify, Amazon Music, Google Podcast, and Facebook. It takes a collective village to address these real-life concerns and ANPA is helping create awareness of these issues and how they are being addressed.
Our website now includes an updated Event Calendar so you can see upcoming organizational events. This will allow for proper planning and avoidance of conflicts. The event calendar can be accessed here.
As we transition into November, let’s carry forward the momentum and lessons learned from the preceding month. So far it has been eventful in: a. Our Board Retreat in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic being a resounding success! Highlights from the Board retreat will be shared soon! Your unwavering commitment to the organization is a testament to the positive impact we can make when we stand together.
May this November be a month of continued collaboration, growth, and well-being for each member of our esteemed ANPA community.
Dr. Chinyere Anyaogu, National President, Association of Nigerian Physicians in the Americas