MIPAN, OAAN others hold health walk, urge regular medical checkup

By Abimbola Mohammed and Felicia Nwosu

In commemoration of World Hand Hygiene Day, Admen in the Nigeria’s advertising industry last Saturday organised a health work initiative for its members and partners.

The awareness and enlightenment campaign centred on deadly diseases, mental health issues and to encourage work life balance.

The annual heath walk was organised by the Media Independent Practitioners Association of Nigeria (MIPAN) in partnership with Outdoor Advertising Association of Nigeria (OAAN) with the theme: “Healthy Living.”

A 4.5km walk exercise which brought together members of both media buyers, outdoor advertising sectors of the industry, brand owners and Lagos State Signage and Advertisement Agency (LASAA) started around 7am from Lagos Television, Agidingbin, and ended at the Police College Ground, Oba Akinjobi Way, and Ikeja.

Sola Akinsiku, President of the Out-of- Home association, described the event as part of activities to improve mental, physical health, mitigate health challenges, enhance overall well-being for increased productivity and also boost creativity, innovation and teamwork of the admen.

Akinsiku added that the collaborative exercise also serves as a testament that both associations are committed to building a community of admen who healthy, fit and health- conscious.

Why with the MIPAN? “It’s our primary constituency that we are targeting, and that is the advertising industry. And every individual, every group that practice advertising or operates in this ecosystem is relevant. We are lucky to have LASA joining us. To us, LASAA is important because in simple terms, LASAA is the landlord. When you have the landlord and tenants having a program like this, you know that there is some kind of understanding.”

Speaking on how individual physical wholeness will translate into total wellbeing of the advertising industry amidst the myriads of economic challenges, the president in his optimistic nature assured that, “As for the industry, in addition to physical health, improvement in health and all of that also brings about healthy relationships. It will foster the relationships amongst us. It promotes healthy relationships and healthy bonding. This is the kind of opportunity that brings us together. I believe that in years to come, it will be a total industry event with several sectoral groups and even our regulator, the Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria, ARCON. Next year, by the grace of God, it will happen again in bigger dimensions. More sectors of the industry and involving youth.”

Commenting on the importance of work life balance, Dr Ezechinyere Ekpo, from Philip Consulting HMO, noted: “we cannot over emphasized the need for people to know their health status. There has been so much talk around mental health, work life balance, Obesity, hypertension etc. around the world to keep people aware of the importance of getting medical checkups often. Some years back, cases of Hypertension were only common among older people but these days, young adults between the ages of 20-25 years now have this health condition. Many of these people don’t even know they have these issues because lack of medical check.”

Ekpo added that early diagnosis, healthy eating habits, good sleeping time and exercising can help curb some of health problems.

He encouraged people to exercise more often, sleep well, take vitamins, ear healthy foods like vegetables, protein, fruits and also to take lots of water and take the issue of balanced diet seriously.

Omole Idowu, Assistant Manager, Legal Department, who represented LASAA, confirmed that the health walk aside boosting the well-being of the practitioners, that it has also created an opportunity to further cement and foster the relationship between the agency and OAAN.

“This is a nice step of fostering more good relationships between LASAA and the associations. We are very happy to join them. I believe that it will foster mutual understanding, innovation and commitments.”

Yinka Adebayo, Group Executive Officer, Omnicom Group West and Central Africa, gave his submission on the need for the walk and creating awareness on work balance. He emphasized that “The essence of this walk is to show collaboration that we work in a very competitive environment,because we are marketers and it’s important for us to walk occasionally to interact, socialise and there is life after the competitive battle of winning accounts and business.”

“It is equally to encourage our members to maintain work life balance, because the nature of work that we do can be so consuming to the extent that you will forget to know your health status, but we need to equally balance work and priorities health balance.”

The group head added that exercising is one of those things that you can do to keep you alive, strong and healthy, because it is only when you are healthy that you can go for the big businesses that you are gunning for.

Adebayo noted that MIPAN is looking forward to expanding the collaboration to other sectors of the industry and even encouraging the regulatory agency, ARCON, to join the initiative and use the platform to inform and show that it’s not regulating to strangle but looking out for the good of the advertising ecosystem.

“The interesting thing about this year’s walk is the fact that OAAN is coming on board to join MIPAN. It really shows the essence of collaboration and the fact that we’re both fighting for the same thing, which is growing our businesses, but while we are growing our businesses we should equally make out time to relax and have fun. The essence of socialisation is coming to play and as our people are socialising and also networking, they are also exercising.”

“MIPAN is open to more collaboration from other sectors of the industry and also look forward to expanding the health work to BON and ARCON who regulate the industry and also socialise with people it is regulating.

It is only when we meet under a conducive environment like this that we can get to understand each other better, appreciate each other’s and value a whole lot more,” he added.

A female member of OAAN, Chuka Arize, Head of Marketing, New Crystal Communications, expressed excitement over the exercise, noted that given that professionals spend most of the hours working, that they find themselves sitting more and moving less, which could easily lead to an ill-health.

“This year’s health walk is something else, because of the routine work every day, leave the house very early, and getting home late, so, the time to do the exercise is not really there. I know its impact will be so effective in my body system. I am going to feel it, you know, that I did it because I have burned some calories. It is a good experience.”

In the same vein, Victor Oyarero, Managing Director +Acuity media, noted that there have been a lot of talks from the global and national level around work life balance and mental health and it is only right for the ad industry to join in advocating and creating awareness for its members too.

His words: “A lot of us working in industry are always struggling with work life balance and it’s important to understand what we do and also the importance of life, to ensure that we take our health seriously. As an industry, we are communicating to ourselves, our vendors and partners that no matter what we do, we should ensure that we know our health status. IPD and cholesterol issues are not things you find in older generations only, nowadays you see that a lot of young people are also facing similar health challenges. That is why we need to ensure that we live a good life and also exercise, not minding that we may look slim or healthy.”


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