Ekopimo Ibia Foundation

Ekopimo Ibia Foundation Bridging the gap between the underserved and quality healthcare.
In mid-April 2016, Dr. Ekopimo O. Ibia was diagnosed with a rare disease called AL amyloidosis after months of vague symptoms. Unfortunately, the diagnosis came too late for quick and successful treatment. He died on June 14, 2016 having contributed much to the field of regulatory science and positively affected the lives of many in the United States, Nigeria and elsewhere around the world. Ekopimo Ibia Foundation is a charitable organization dedicated to extending Dr. Ibia’s vision and legacy in two ways: 1. Promoting the provision and improvement of basic health services among the underprivileged in the impoverished developing world, beginning in Nigeria 2. Offering health education and supporting medical research in diverse communities in the United States, to bring about early diagnosis and treatment of rare diseases like amyloidosis 3. Increasing mental health awareness in the United States, with an aim to ending the stigma surrounding mental health conditions With these efforts, the foundation is bridging the gap between the underserved and quality healthcare.

2019 HPV Vaccination Stories1. We’re beating the odds and emerging successful through strategic planning and persevera...
05/14/2019

2019 HPV Vaccination Stories

1. We’re beating the odds and emerging successful through strategic planning and perseverance.

We were committed to and successful in storing the HPV vaccines at an ideal temperature during transport and administration. This involved close and clear communication between the seller of the vaccines, Vaccipharm, and the airline transporting them. And once the vaccines were in our possession, buying diesel to run a power plant when there was a power outage at the local storage depot. Thanks to these efforts, the quality of the vaccines was not compromised in any way.

2. No child will be left behind if we can help it.

56 of the 100 girls who were given their first vaccination dose in November came back for their second on our first day. We returned to our hotel room feeling a little discouraged but determined to do all we could to increase that number. Four of us then spent three hours making phone calls and sending texts to parents to stress the importance of their children completing their vaccination schedule. When parents shared obstacles preventing them from bringing their children, we offered solutions. This group effort paid off and many more girls were able to get vaccinated, including two special cases:

At one point during our third day, cheers erupted from all of the volunteers as an 11-year-old girl walked into the library of the NYSC school to meet the vaccination team. She was accompanied by her father who had to pick her up from a town two hours away. Her arrival and vaccination increased our return rate for the second dose to 94%.The proud father stood by and watched the nurse administer the vaccine. We congratulated him for taking a proactive, lifesaving step for his daughter. The vaccination was completed in less than one minute, but we know it will benefit this child for the rest of their life.

Mabel, a 13-year-old, was not in school the two days we were there to administer the second dose. Several phone calls later, her mother disclosed she did not have the required school uniform. The vaccination team immediately removed this barrier. Special permission was obtained from the principal and the team made a third unscheduled visit to the school. Mabel came in her plain clothes and completed her second vaccination dose. She is another child who will not be a statistic in the cervical cancer registry.

3. Our advocacy efforts have gotten a big boost.

The mother of one of the girls who received her second vaccination dose approached and invited us to the state television broadcasting corporation where she works. We were able to use this platform, that reaches millions of viewers, to speak about the burden of cervical cancer and the benefits of HPV vaccination.

4. We’re striving to collaborate with organizations in Nigeria.

During our visit, we met with Dr. Jacinta Okoi-Obuli, President of Medical Women Association. Medical Women Association creates cervical cancer awareness and provides subsided cervical screenings with Pap smears for women over 21. Women in Nigeria have to pay for Pap screenings and with the monthly income of about 100 dollars per middle class family, the vast majority cannot afford this “luxury.” That is why cervical cancer has such striking global health inequity. More than 80% of the deaths from cervical cancer occur in countries like Nigeria. This proportion is expected to increase to 90% by 2020 according to the NEMJ (May 2007). This is why there is need for urgent action.

We also met with Professor Ima-Obong Ekanem, Director of the Calabar Cancer Registry. She and her team are working to identify the prevalent strains of HPV in the Cross River State region. It was eye-opening to review the data on the five year incidence of cancer in Calabar, Nigeria between 2009 and 2013. This study was done in collaboration with the Nuffield Department of Population Health of Oxford University and the African Cancer Registry Network. In this study, cervical cancer was among the top three cancers diagnosed in Calabar. Breast and cervical cancer accounted for 60.4% of all cancers in women. 46% of these women were between 30 and 49 years old at diagnosis. At this age, women are in school, working, caring for children, or other family members. Their illness is devastating to the whole family. This data underlies the need for programs that target early detection to improve outcomes and for prevention through vaccination.

5. We encourage you to be a part of our ongoing vaccination initiative.

We are excited to be on the right side of history as we promote HPV vaccination and join the rest of the world in the effort to take the entire chapter of cervical cancer out of womens’ lives. Please join us. You can make a donation on our website at ibiafoundation.org/donate or send us a check by mail to 1760 Reston Parkway, Suite 215, Reston, VA 20190. Also, please consider using smile.amazon.com and choosing the Ekopimo Ibia Foundation as the charity you are supporting. And lastly, please spread the word. We need all the help we can get.

A Necessary Return to Calabar:Continuing VaccinationTwo members of the Ekopimo Ibia Foundation’s board of directors, D...
05/02/2019

A Necessary Return to Calabar:
Continuing Vaccination

Two members of the Ekopimo Ibia Foundation’s board of directors, Dr. Itoro Ibia and Dr. Nsa Henshaw, have arrived in Calabar, Nigeria to continue our cervical cancer prevention work. What has us excited? Well, by the end of our current visit—the second stage of our HPV immunization campaign—100 girls aged between 9 and 14 will become the first public school girls to complete their HPV immunization course for cervical cancer prevention through the Ekopimo Ibia Foundation.

We are thrilled that these girls will not be killed by cervical cancer. While cervical cancer has become a rare and preventable disease in the developed world, it continues to plague the lives of West African women and families in the developing world because of the absence of HPV immunization. 64 OUT OF 100 WOMEN DIAGNOSED WITH CERVICAL CANCER WILL DIE. With women as a major backbone of the society, this widespread loss is devastating to families all over West Africa.

Cervical cancer is caused by strains of HPV for which there is vaccination routinely offered in the western world. 85% of cases of cervical cancer are now concentrated in middle- and low-income countries, West Africa included. By vaccinating young girls before sexual exposure, we prevent HPV infection and drastically reduce their risk of developing cervical cancer later in life. The cervarix vaccine is available for girls aged between 9 and 14. Every day, a child in Nigeria is aging out of this window of opportunity.

Please join the Ekopimo Ibia Foundation in erasing the negative impact of cervical cancer in Nigeria, one child at a time. With your help, we can immunize 500 to 1000 girls instead of only 200 as we are able to do now. Let’s protect the next generation of women in West Africa. Let’s eliminate the damage that cervical cancer can inflict on future families.

The approximate cost of a complete vaccine course per child is $50. Please consider sponsoring 2, 5, or as many girls as you can. Or give a tax deductible donation to Ekopimo Ibia Foundation by visiting ibiafoundation.org/donate. One donor can support one or more girls. Two or more donors can join forces to support one child. No support or gift is too small for this life-saving venture. As you shop on Amazon, please consider using smile.amazon.com and choosing the Ekopimo Ibia Foundation as the charity you are supporting. Thank you.

Mental health awareness as provided by the Ekopimo Ibia Foundation is gathering momentum! Dr. Itoro Ibia, who is a board...
02/06/2019
Northern Virginia Ethical Society - SUICIDE: A Growing Public Health Crisis

Mental health awareness as provided by the Ekopimo Ibia Foundation is gathering momentum! Dr. Itoro Ibia, who is a board certified psychiatrist and the executive director of the Ekopimo Ibia Foundation, has been invited by the Northern Virginia Ethical Society to give a mental health awareness talk on suicide prevention on February 24, 2019. Please see the link below for more information regarding the event. Anyone who is interested in attending can send an email to [email protected].

https://www.noves.org/event-3203213

The topic of suicide has been more prominent in the news in the past few years with a new report from the CDC on the increasing rates of suicide. What many people do not know is that many who kill themselves represent people "you'd never expect to struggle upon first glance". Mental health condition...

11/23/2018

Dear all,

Here's a new way to help us raise funds for the foundation: When shopping on Amazon, please use smile.amazon.com and choose Ekopimo Ibia Foundation as the charity you are supporting. Please tell your friends and family.

Thank you,
Ekopimo Ibia Foundation

A Recap of Our Tripto Calabar: Yes, We Did!From November 5 to November 10, 2018, we, the Ekopimo Ibia Foundation, gave t...
11/16/2018

A Recap of Our Trip
to Calabar: Yes, We Did!

From November 5 to November 10, 2018, we, the Ekopimo Ibia Foundation, gave the HPV vaccine to 100 girls aged 9 to 14 in a public school and church gathering in Calabar. They received the vaccine while their parents and teachers were educated about its benefits. We were happy to see that with only our initial outreach efforts and education, approximately 40% of reached parents gave consent for their children to take both doses of the vaccine.

The HPV vaccine is very expensive and therefore not affordable for the average family. The foundation has an ambitious vision of raising enough funds to give this vaccine to the majority of impoverished girls aged 9 to 14 in Southern Nigeria, while continuing its educational and advocacy efforts with parents and the local government. We long for a time when the HPV vaccine will be part of the recommended immunization schedule in Southern Nigeria, starting with Calabar.

HPV vaccination does more than prevent HPV. It is the primary step in cervical cancer prevention. Research shows that cervical cancer is one of the leading causes of death in Nigerian women. 64 out of 100 women diagnosed with cervical cancer in Nigeria will die. The burden of cervical cancer in West Africa, particularly in Nigeria, is very high because many are unaware of the fact that cervical cancer can be prevented with vaccination.

We will be returning to Nigeria in the spring to give the second dose of the HPV vaccine to the 100 girls mentioned, and hope to give the vaccine to at least 500 more girls who have signed a consent form. There is no doubt that this is ambitious, but we can do it if everyone reading this post donates at least $100 (the cost of a complete vaccine course for two girls).

Please donate by visiting ibiafoundation.org/donate, or send a check made payable to Ekopimo Ibia Foundation to 1760 Reston Parkway, Suite 215, Reston, VA 20190. Your gifts are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law, as Ekopimo Ibia Foundation is a registered charity with the Internal Revenue Service. We’re grateful for your contribution so far.

Taking the HPVVaccine to CalabarEkopimo Ibia Foundation, in keeping with its mission, is planning to offer the human pap...
10/29/2018

Taking the HPV
Vaccine to Calabar

Ekopimo Ibia Foundation, in keeping with its mission, is planning to offer the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine for free to impoverished girls in Calabar.

Each year in Nigeria, 64 out of 100 women diagnosed with cervical cancer will die as a result. HPV infection is the only cause of cervical cancer. 47.7 million Nigerian females are at risk of getting cervical cancer, and only the very rich can afford to vaccinate their daughters—the best way to prevent cervical cancer being to vaccinate girls between the ages of 9 and 14—against the cancer-causing strains of HPV. And some of the very wealthy are unaware of the risks HPV poses.

This offering is our first step toward changing these statistics, making the HPV vaccine more accessible, and increasing awareness of the HPV vaccine’s ability to prevent cervical cancer. We have purchased the vaccine at $50 per complete dose. Our goal is to vaccinate 200 girls as part of our medical mission coming up in November. We have identified local public schools and volunteers willing to help with education as well as getting parental consent.

With all that said, we need your help. You can make a financial contribution through our website at ibiafoundation.org/donate. Monetary aid can also be provided by mail. Simply send a check made payable to Ekopimo Ibia Foundation to our office: 1760 Reston Parkway, Suite 215, Reston, VA 20190. We appreciate your help toward our goal.

source: sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2311300617301490

Ekopimo Ibia Foundation
08/12/2018

Ekopimo Ibia Foundation

Impact Often RequiresA Plan and a Little HelpOn June 9, the Ekopimo Ibia Foundation kicked off its monthly fundraising e...
06/20/2018

Impact Often Requires
A Plan and a Little Help

On June 9, the Ekopimo Ibia Foundation kicked off its monthly fundraising effort—in preparation for its next mission in November—by holding its inaugural Bow Tie Charity Gala in Herndon, Virginia. The philanthropic event was attended by approximately 100 friends and family who shared Ekopimo’s love of hanging out with comrades, bow ties, and charitable work. Attendees told stories about how Ekopimo’s life and work affected them personally and professionally, learned a few dance steps from the Nazu African Dance Company, and also listened to several presentations about the plans the foundation has for sowing into the lives of communities in Nigeria and here in the United States.

One of the key highlights of the occasion was a presentation by Dr. Asuquo Inyang, a board member of the foundation. Dr. Inyang discussed the need for the foundation to host and participate in missions, and how without them many impoverished people who need basic medical care never get it. Another board member, Dr. Nsa Henshaw, shared a rendering of a preliminary vision for the foundation’s future efforts to champion the introduction of cervical cancer health education and prevention—using the HPV vaccine. The health burden that is cervical cancer is highest in the countries (including Nigeria) who do not offer the vaccine as part of their adolescent immunization schedule. Ekopimo was a pediatric infectious disease specialist and would have willingly gotten behind these goals.

Even though the foundation is focused on participating and contributing to as many medical missions as possible, it hopes to serve in other capacities. Free physicals and surgeries, dentals, basic ophthalmology and gynecologic services, and health education are a few of the things the foundation hopes to offer moving forward. But that’s not all. Many of the foundation’s plans are very much in the idea phase. These plans include supporting and mentoring minority students in a high school-based physician scientist training program, teaching various communities about rare diseases, and introducing the complex and often overlooked nature of mental health to community and faith-based groups in an attempt to increase awareness and fight its stigma.

Some of the foundation’s ideas will require a lot faith. There is so much good to be done in the world, and everyone affiliated with the foundation is keen on helping it become a catalyst for bringing this good to bear for more than deserving souls in Nigeria and here in the States. Making an impact like this is what Ekopimo spent his life doing, so in his honor, the foundation continues.

If you would like to donate to the Ekopimo Ibia Foundation, please visit ibiafoundation.org/donate.

06/03/2018

A Start at Bringing Mental
Health Education to the Masses

One of the chief goals of the Ekopimo Ibia Foundation is to provide health education regarding a variety of diseases to different communities particularly minority populations, faith-based groups and other community associations. We are starting by providing mental health awareness seminars to some of these community groups. So far, seminars have been offered at three churches and two community groups. These have been very well received and in one instance led to the request for the EIF board president to form an outreach-support group for people suffering from mental health conditions in a local church.

Whether we are aware of it or not, we all know someone who is living with some form of mental health condition. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), 60 million Americans experience a mental health condition every year—that’s one in four adults and one in ten children. People of every race, age, religion or economic status are affected. Ignorance about mental health conditions is rife and needs to be addressed. Mental health awareness through health education is the only way to break down barriers to accessing help and fighting stigma. Anyone may experience mental health problems at every stage of life from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.

According to the WHO, this is the single most common cause of disability in young people. In North America, approximately 15 to 20% of adolescents are suffering from some form of mental disorder.

If you belong to a community association or group that would benefit from a mental health awareness talk, please contact the foundation for details.

Address

1760 Reston Parkway, Suite 215
Reston, VA
20190

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