Admen turned walkmen for kidney health awareness

By Felicia Nwosu

“Prevention they say, is better than cure and a healthy nation also, they say is a wealthy nation. The same applies to a healthy advertising workforce. It is on this premise that the Outdoor Advertising Association of Nigeria, (OAAN), in conjunction with the Media Independent Practitioners Association of Nigeria, (MIPAN) held a revolutionary Health Walk to create awareness, educate members and the general public about the health benefits of exercising and the risks and economic challenges associated with kidney diseases.

The walk was well attended by members of both associations who were appropriately kitted with their sportswear and in high spirits. The 7-kilometer walk kicked off at 7.30 am in front of Lagos Television, Agidingbi accompanied by rhythmic music to activate and elevate the mood during the exercise.

Addressing the media, Femi Adelusi, President, MIPAN urged members to imbibe the habit of exercising especially, taking a walk. He enjoined them to put a reminder on their calendar for walks.

“Looking at our industry in the last two years, we have been focusing on the well-being of our members. For example, last year, we announced that we would be supporting mental health management, and MIPAN as a body has done this consistently in the last seven years.

“We used to do it as MIPAN but today’s walk is in collaboration with OAAN. We see our industry as one in which all the sectoral bodies have to work together much more than ever because there is always economy of scale. We can break all the bonds and address our issues as good colleagues and friends who share the same value. On that basis, we saw this as an opportunity to walk together,” he said.

According to him, “Looking at the industry, kidney failure is a rampant health issue. We need to drive awareness among our members. These are the things that prompt the collaboration and we hope that in years ahead, we can do it with other sectoral bodies. The idea is that we build skill, awareness, and participation as we move forward in the years ahead,” he concluded.

Commenting on what prompted both Associations to partner for health walk their members, Emmanuel Ajufo, President, Outdoor Advertising Association of Nigeria, OAAN, said the initiative was part of collaboration under his leadership and that of MIPAN President, Femi Adelusi, to reinforce a positive culture of incorporating health programmes into the agenda of the advertising business that will contribute to the well-being of the professionals.

“The two Associations have had a wonderful relationship and both of us believe that we should collaborate to help the industry come together for our collective growth. It is also part of our CSR to our host communities. We agreed that kidney is a major concern because a lot of us do not know how important it is to take care of our kidneys, so we decided to plan to hold it at this period so that it can coincide with World  Kidney Day. The benefit is enormous.”

Nwagwu Churchill, Committee Chairman for the OAAN/MIPAN Health Day Walk Initiative, noted that the idea for a health walk was conceptualised to create industry collaboration between OAAN and MIPAN and to further raise awareness on the issues of kidney failures.

“In recent times, we have observed that a lot of practitioners have been down with this health challenge, and further research has shown that it is better to prevent than to cure it. We as an industry have come together to take up this issue as an industry focus and to raise awareness, create more synergy, and bring more enlightenment on the things we need to do to prevent, cure, and avoid kidney failure. The benefit is that it is going to provide a platform for us to network, and collaborate, because, at the end of the day, we all target one goal, which is creating value for our clients and industry.”

The Committee Chairman spoke further on what subsequent editions will deliver to the entire industry.

“The next edition will be much more than this. We have opened the conversation, a lot of sectoral groups are keying into it. This year, it is just MIPAN/OAAN coming together. We believe that by next year, all the other sectoral groups will come in because we are going to make a presentation to the Heads of Advertising Sectoral Groups, HASGs, to have this project as an industry project and of course, we are also going to reach out to Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria, APCON,  to support this  project so that every year, everybody in this industry will be looking towards having this health walk.”

Nnodim Ambrose, of Marketing and Media Ltd, described it as an effective method of preventing some of the silent killer diseases and urged the organisers to make it a biannual exercise.

“Most of us are getting old, we need to exercise to be agile to enable us to do our work.  It encourages those with kidney disease, obesity, and diabetes to exercise more. It helps to sweat away all the toxins in our bodies. Instead of annually, it should be bi-annually or quarterly. It is part of networking within the industry. I encouraged other sectors to adopt and emulate this because it is a good thing.”

Rilwan Ajiferuke, General Manager, Plural Media, and Technology Ltd, similarly reaffirmed that it is a beneficial exercise that various sectoral groups must embrace and join the conversation.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for one to get the body alive again if one has not been doing that before. I believe that it should be a continuous exercise. It is something that should be encouraged and it even allows some bonding as well. Beyond the regular  daily routine of our career, and you are not able to have an opportunity to flex the muscle, this is a fantastic opportunity and I believe it should be an annual event.”

The walk which was enlivened by a live band that beats to the rhythm of the march ended at the Police College Ground, Oba Akinjobi Way, Ikeja where the event was rounded off with a Health Talk/Questions and Answers.


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