Next Einstein forum stages health awareness walk to mark Africa Science Week
The issues plaguing the development of science in Africa took centre-stage as Nigeria joined 12 other countries for the first edition of the Africa Science Week, which was held recently.
The deliberations and activities at the inaugural edition of the Africa Science Week centred on innovation and health awareness amongst other issues. As part of activities marking this event, a cancer/hepatitis awareness walk was held in Ikeja, Lagos. The cancer/ hepatitis awareness featured a procession, which saw the participants staging a walk to the General Hospital in Ikeja as well as through the busy Computer Village and Bank Anthony Road, both in Ikeja.
During the walk, the participants engaged in spreading awareness about the need, and how, to prevent the spread of cancer and hepatitis amongst Nigerians.
Speaking on the health awareness initiative, Dr. Samuel Sojinu, Team Lead for the Nigeria leg of the Africa Science Week and also a lecturer with the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, stated that it was necessary to bring attention to the increasing cases of cancer and hepatitis. He advised individuals to go for regular medical check-up and quit habits such as smoking and the intake of hard drugs, which may trigger unwanted diseases.
He said: “As scientists research for cures to cancer and hepatitis, it becomes expedient to create awareness around preventive measures to safeguard individuals from coming in contact with these diseases. We are embarking on this campaign to get people to pay more attention to their health. It is advised that we should go for medical check-up periodically and not only when we start to notice signs of ailments. Knowledge of our state of health is very necessary.”
Nigeria’s edition of the Africa Science Week is the first of a 13-country series. Looking to the future, the NEF will expand the reach of its Africa Science Week to 30 countries in 2018 and all 54 by 2020. The Africa Science Week initiative is the result of a partnership between the Next Einstein Forum (NEF) and Robert Bosch Stiftung.
Beyond numbers, the NEF hopes that Africa Science Week will grow to include major activities in schools and universities, and result in concrete collaborations between the research community and private sector.
In line with the NEF’s Dakar Declaration, issued at the first biennial NEF Global Gathering, held in in Dakar, Senegal in March 2016, Africa Science Week will place public engagement at the heart of advancing Africa’s scientific agenda. The next edition of the NEF Global Gathering will be held in Kigali in March 2018 under the patronage of H.E. Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda. Johnson & Johnson Innovation, Google and local sponsors in each country fund Africa Science Week.
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