IT WAS indeed a colourful Yellow evening that will not be forgotten in a hurry, said a guest at the second edition of Nordica Media Merit Award for Excellence reportage of Reproductive and Fertility Issues and the venue was the prestigious Civic Centre, Victoria Island Lagos.
Tagged: ‘Yellow Night Gala of the Endometriosis Support Group Nigeria, ESGN’ there were hundreds of guests including School Children who participated int he contest, dressed all in beautiful attires with touch of Yellow, symbolising Endometriosis Awareness Campaign.
In the first edition of the Merit Award Gala Night in 2016, the competition was mainly among Journalists who competed for the prize award but the 2017 edition became hotter as the Organisers introduced a new category which is the maiden ESGN Secondary School Essay Competition.
There were dances, fashion shows and auction, among others entertaining attractons to complement the evening amidst speeches on why every Nigerian must become Endometriosis aware.
The highlight of the evening was the presentation of plaques, certificates and prized awards to participants from both the Secondary School category as well as media category.
Bola Shote, a panellist of the 1st Annual ESGN Secondary School Essay Competition, gave a background of competition. She noted that all the entries were quite good and spoke to the theme entitled: “Endometriosis and the Girl Child”.
In the Secondary School category, Miss Oladipo Deborah Simileoluwa of Canon James Pearse Anglican College, Iwaya came first with her creative write-up and went home with N50, 000.
The 1st runner up, Miss Peace Ajayi of Kuramo Senior Secondary College received N30,000 and the prize of N20, 000 went to the 2nd runner-up.
In the media category, Healthstyleplus Online made history in its first year of consistently doing what it knows best, investigating and reporting stories that are meant to shape lives through positive change to win the prestigious award in the Digital category for its Reproductive health and Fertility Reporting.
The Jurors no doubt had some tough time deciding which online media should carry the day among the 12 Online entries.
However, after a careful and thorough examination of content, Style and use of resources, the Jurors made balanced scoring and grading of all entries in the Digital Category and your darling Health Platform, Healthstyleplus Online won the day with one of its entries: “Endometriosis, Invisible Illness of Female Anatomy” published on January 31, 2017.
It was an award won and given in absentia.
There were other categories keenly contested. In the Print category, there were 22 entries and Tunde Ajaja of Punch Newspaper won the award with his entry: “Travails of the childless wife: Our loving homes have become matrimonial hell”.
Out of the seven entries in the Electronic category, Yecenu Sasetu of Kiss FM, Abuja”s entry titled: “Stigma in Infertility’ won the hearts of the Judges,
All the winners went home with plaques and cash prizes.
Lead Juror, General Manager and Editor In-Chief, Vanguard Newspapers, Gbenga Adefaye commended the media coverage and investigative reporting around issues on infertility as a major health, social and economic concern among married couples in Nigeria, “particularly, the challenge posed by Endometriosis”, said Adefaye.
One of the survivors of Endometriosis, Pharmacist Chioma Chukwubuike, told a bewildered audience, “This disease is real”.
Recounting her experience for 24 years, Chioma said, “I have seen 12 doctors and had so much pain in my life even as I am unemployed. I don’t know why this disease chose me; it has dealt with me.”
Recalling that at age 18, endometriosis took away her appendix, Chioma said she was misdiagnosed and was taking drugs for the wrong reasons.
“I went through five surgeries, but because I was not being handled by the right doctors, I suffered so much pain. My career suffered. My life suffered. Endo sucks,” she remarked. Her story was so emotive few persons in the audience shed tears.
More tears were shed while a Pastor rendered a heart-breaking testimony about the ordeal his wife went through with endometriosis. He received a standing ovation afterwards.
Founder ESGN, Dr Abayomi Ajayi pleaded for more support in creating awareness for Endometriosis saying, “We know that in different parts of the world it takes 6-19 years to diagnose and most of them present with infertility.
“By then most have severe endometriosis, so we think it’s better to look at it in adolescents, so we brought the experts who know about treatment of the disorder in adolescents.”