On Health Weeks and Celebrations

2 years+ since the last IFUMSA Health week, and counting.

Health weeks are arguably the most anticipated event of the year in medical school. Put simply, it is a cluster of events held daily for a week, centered around a main theme and having a mix of social events.

They are not just peculiar to Medical students. They are held in other college departments like Medical Rehabilitation and Dentistry and in most Medical schools in Nigeria. This one week of activities also mirrors what is obtainable in most departments on campus for instance, Law week, Tech week, to mention just a few. 

 Usually, health week events serve as an expression of what the association stands for at the departmental level but these activities may vary from school to school. The statutory activities are the Publicity Rally, the Public lecture and the Dinner and Award night. Others include the Sport competition, an Health awareness outreach, a Scientific conference, a creativity/talent showDebates etc.

Perhaps the most special fact about health weeks are that they bring members of the association closer. From, Preclinical classes to the Clinical classes, Constituency to Constituency, Organ to Organ, the camaraderie is palpable. “I am a Medical student, You are too”, “This is my department’s week, and this is yours too”.

  The last IFUMSA Health week which held in June 2021 was organized by the Capacity Administration and had a resounding bang to it.  It started on a Sunday with a vigorous publicity that set the tone for the week. Other notable programs held included the Radio talk centred around the theme-Gender based violence. Articine– Art × Medicine (the talent/ creativity festival, and the medical outreach. 

Oduduwa Hall was packed to overflowing, for the public lecture and had in attendance one of Nigeria’s celebrity Health Influencers, Dr Chinonso Egemba ( Aproko Doctor) . The electrifying finals of the Wale Okediran match and the elegant Dinner and award night which had singer,  Buju in attendance, brought the week to a close.

IHW’21 also went on to receive the Best Campus Event of the year Award– an award that still gives IFUMSItes bragging rights on OAU campus based on the palpable statements the event made till date.

It is thus no wonder that IFUMSITES have been anticipating the next Health week almost since the end of the last one. Those who missed certain aspects of the last event have made self promises concerning the next events. “I must not miss the next dinner night” , “My class must win the next Wale Okediran Cup”, “My club/committee must win the organ of the year.  ” I must buy the next Health week jersey”

The passing weeks, months, and now years have not diminished this desire. It has only made the subject of the health week a mystery as IFUMSAItes keep wondering, “When will the next health week hold?” 

Undoubtedly the next administration, after Capacity, the Quintessentials, made plans towards the next health week. Coupled with IFUMSA’S 50th anniversary celebration, it was set to be a one month long buffet of activities including a Mega Alumni reunion.

Unfortunately the 8 months long ASUU Strike disrupted the Quintessential administration’s plans and the elections and handover ceremony were held online.  All eyes have since then looked to the present administration hoping that with resumption after the strike, things will fall into place. 

It’s been close to a year since the last swearing in ceremony and IFUMSAItes are still patiently waiting. No doubt, the year has been filled with top-notch programs, but not just the crowning event. 

 Would it be in September? In October? In November? or in December?  What would the standard of this year’s health week be like? Has the planning committee even been instated? Will this delay lead to an indifference towards this year’s activities?And with the main campus resumption presumably slated for late October, would we still wait till then before having the health week? Could some uncertainty capable of  disrupting the calendar again be lurking at some corner? 

We certainly do not know yet.

While plans for another edition of the Health Week by the current administration are most likely in the works, the details are still obscure as no address has been given so far.

We can only wait – and hope that the Health Week is finally around the corner. And that IFUMSItes can have the event they’ve been so patiently waiting for.

P.S- The reports of the last health week are available on the Event Report section of this Blog

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