DOCTORS’ HEALTH INITIATIVE EMPOWERING STUDENTS
About 350 ladies of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) Moremi Hall of residence gathered in the courtyard of Moremi Hall last Wednesday, April 22nd 2015, to take part in day four of Moremi Hall Week. The theme of the day was ‘Women’s Empowerment’, and several sessions with the students were held in the courtyard in line with this theme. The event was hosted by the Hall Mistress of Moremi Hall, Dr. Virgy Onyene; the Dean of Student Affairs, Prof. G.O. Babawale; and Mrs. Aregbesola of the Counselling Unit, Unilag.
Hall Mistress of Moremi Hall, Dr. Virgy Onyene
Dr. Nkechi Asogwa of the Doctor’ Health Initiative was granted a 7-minute slot to address the students on empowering themselves to make the right decisions for their health, with particular reference to their reproductive health, given the new and rapidly expanding trend of sale of “human eggs”, whereby students are approached by anonymous persons, and are offered large sums of money in exchange for the students’ donation of their ovarian eggs. This transaction involves the stimulation of the girls’ ovaries, and the ‘harvesting’ of large amounts of eggs from the same ovaries. Dr. Asogwa called this “eggsploitation”. She noted that the short and long-term effects of this process of ovary stimulation and harvesting, includes ovarian hyper-stimulation syndrome, infertility, and sometimes, death. She stressed the girls’ freedom to make their own choices in any prospective transaction, but that there is need on the part of the girls to have full knowledge of what is being proposed to them.
Dr. Nkechi Asogwa
Dr Asogwa was supported by Nkem Agboti, a legal practitioner, and patron of the Doctors’ Health Initiative. Ms. Agboti briefly highlighted the need for young ladies to value their bodies, and to think wisely in all situations, subjecting financial considerations to health and moral considerations. She also stated that for ladies who have been victimized by “eggsploitation” there are legal remedies which may be sought. She noted to the students her availability to discuss the legal options in private with any aggrieved persons.
Ms. Nkem Agboti
The contact details of approximately 30% of the students present were received by Dr. Asogwa and Ms. Agboti, and the two ladies informed the crowed that another event at UNILAG, in which the topic of eggsploitation will be expanded upon, will hold in the coming months. All ladies on the list will be contacted and were encouraged to bring their friends along for what promises to be a life-saving expose.
The brief talk from Dr. Asogwa and Ms. Agboti was well received, and a summary of the key messages was delivered by volunteers from the crowd. The Hall Mistress concluded the session by encouraging the girls to seriously consider, what had been presented to them.
The full eggsploitation awareness seminar in UNILAG is scheduled for July 2015.