It is not exactly breaking news that the University of Ibadan Medical Students’ Association’s Annual Health Week Programme, the 61st of its kind, is scheduled to hold from Sunday, 19th March, to Saturday, 25th March, 2023. For this year, the Health Week is themed “The Business of Medicine: Faces and Phases”, and this has triggered so much enthusiasm, which has also generated expectations from prospective participants of this annual, weeklong event. 

This year’s edition comes with an intention to bring to the limelight and incite conversations on subject matters that involve all the stakeholders involved in the medical practice; the faces involved in the business of medicine. And to also communicate the clear message that there is more to medical practice than being a physician. In a bid to cast the spotlight on the peculiarities that come with this year’s Health Week, this article is an effort to bring to the limelight, details about the activities lined up. As expected, it’s a weeklong event, and here is a compendium of the activities to look forward to, and the things that make this year’s different. 

It begins in the day. This year, the Health Week kicks off with a rally and awareness walk on the University of Ibadan campus. As the majority of medical students are not residents in the UI campus community, here is an approach to increase awareness, and give the week the needed publicity on the main campus. This is brought to a close with a bonfire in Alexander Brown Hall later in the evening. 

The Symposium which is the official forum for conversations about the central theme of the event is scheduled to hold on Monday, 20th March. The symposium this year is themed “Doctors as Vendors of Medicine”, with the conversation focused on the evolving roles and current challenges of physicians. There will be speakers who will share on various topics ranging from Private Medicine, Health Insurance and Health Technology while bordering on the challenges they face, how they have been able to scale for solutions, and how all these influence the future of medicine. 

As always, every Health Week is incomplete without an outreach, and this year, the outreach is focused on non-communicable diseases, with a special spotlight on tuberculosis. This will take place in Aleshinloye Market, Ibadan. The healthy inter-class rivalries also continue this year, as there are several outfits for each class to display their prowess. The Sports Committee has provided different avenues: Football, Basketball and Volleyball in both male and female categories for this. As well, the famed interclass quiz sponsored by the Ibadan Medical Specialist Group will also continue this year, and this year, there is a new feature. Asides from the usual questions that border on Basic Medical Sciences, Maths & Logic, General Knowledge and General Science, there will be a section during the finals dedicated for the fastest and best team. This is introduced to give room for speed and accuracy as opposed to recognizing only intelligence and dexterity in previous years. 

In a bid to trigger innovation, and incubate solutions that can viably contribute to the development of the health sector in Nigeria, the University of Ibadan Medical Students’ Association launched the very first of its kind, UIMSAHack. UIMSAHack is a hackathon open to teams of 3-4 with at least a medical student among, to design solutions on the theme: Doctors as Vendors of Healthcare in Nigeria: Challenging the Challenges. And this opportunity is open to students in other universities to form teams and compete for an opportunity to develop their solutions to world taste, while also winning amazing prizes. 

It ends at night; A Night in Zamunda. To wrap up the week, the Movie Night and the Dinner & Awards ceremony will hold. These events are avenues for a much informal interaction among UIMSAites, while also rewarding students who have been exceptional in service to the Association and other endeavours they have involved themselves in. Also notable this year, is the rejuvenation of the UIMSA Pagaentry Contest, which is to set to be unveiled during the Dinner & Award Party. Here, there is a lot to look out for dexterity with performances as the contestants showcase their African outfits, and eventually, the new Mr & Miss UIMSA will be crowned. 

With all these investments by the leadership of the Association and the entire planning committee, we can be sure that this year’s Health Week will have an indelible impact. And after the seventh day, we all can rest.

Covenant Odedele 

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