“Children are great imitators. So give them something great to imitate” —Anonymous
There is something to be said for having others review your work and provide their own unique perspective as you seek to ensure you are meeting global standards and enhancing your impact in the communities you serve.
That is why from the 17th to 19th of May, 2023, we hosted the World Health Organization Africa Regional Office (WHO AFRO), World Health Organization Nigeria Office (WHO Nigeria), and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to see our Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) School Program firsthand.
The purpose of the visit was to gain insight into the school model we use and tour some of the schools in Lagos and Osun states where we execute this program through our Health and Hygiene Clubs. The aim was for our partners to assess our impact and suggest improvements. The visit began with the team arriving at DRASA’s office in Lagos on 17th May and ended at the Ministry of Education in Osun state on 19th May.
The visiting team included Dr. Walter Fuller and Mrs. Otridah Kapona from WHO-AFRO, Dr. Chavan Laxmikant, and Dr. Omotayo Hamzat from the WHO Nigeria Country Office, Dr. Abiodun Egwenu and Dr. Ridwan Yahya from NCDC, and Prof. Oladipo Aboderin from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife.
They were taken through a presentation of the DRASA AMR School Program which featured an overview of our organization, the work we do through our core program areas, the problems of AMR in Nigeria and the challenges they pose, and our objectives for our AMR School Program. The presentation also included details of our implementation approach including team structure, topics covered in the training curriculum, monitoring and evaluation, as well as the major results. After the presentation there were robust discussions on how to improve and scale the program in the next phase as we expand across the country.
After the meeting, the team visited two of our schools in Lagos; State Senior High School in GRA in Ikeja and New Era Girls Senior Secondary School in Surulere.
On Friday, 19th May 2023, the whole team visited Ooni Girls High School in Ile-Ife, Osun state and the tour came to an end with a courtesy/advocacy visit to the Permanent Secretary of Osun State Ministry of Education, Mr. Adelani Aderinola. He expressed his appreciation of the program in the schools in Osun and reiterated that the program has been a success in the state.
At each of these visits, our DRASA Ambassadors shared the experiences they have had since they became members of the DRASA Health and Hygiene Club. Many of the Ambassadors volunteered and shared the knowledge they gained on menstrual hygiene, AMR, hand hygiene, and more. There was also a general consensus by the Ambassadors that the people they feel most comfortable discussing what they have learned with are their friends.
One of the main highlights was the song on AMR which our Ambassadors wrote and performed for the visitors who excitedly joined in and danced.
The visit showcasing our AMR School program was successful due to the first-hand insight received by the visitors and the level of engagement with our AMR Ambassadors and other stakeholders. It also allowed the visiting team to strengthen relationships with key stakeholders in the Ministry of Education.
From the interaction of the visiting team with school administrators, Focal Teachers, and Student Ambassadors, the positive impact of the AMR School Program was clear. Based on the observations made, our team will continue to work to ensure that we improve as we scale this model across Nigeria and Africa.