As part of efforts to encourage exercise as a tool for healthy living, Avon Health Management Organisation (HMO) has launched the MyCityMyFootball initiative.
In a statement made available to THISDAY recently, the Chief Executive Officer, Avon HMO, Adesimbo Ukiri said the organisation has been inspired to empower Nigerians to live healthier, fuller lives, hence a health awareness tour of Lagos to support and encourage healthy living in communities across the city.
She said: “Participating in sporting activities was one of the fun ways to stay fit and healthy and with football being a game that brings people of various backgrounds together across communities, we believe it is a great opportunity to connect with the grassroots and improve their health awareness.
“Football is a game enjoyed by millions of Nigerians and by using the game as a point of contact, we aim to reach millions of Nigerians in order to educate them about the importance of fitness as a lifestyle choice. We are also giving out lots of amazing gifts to the people of these communities.”
She noted that five communities have been earmarked for the first phase of the tour and that the company has already visited three neighbourhood pitches – Dolphin Field at Obalende, Abraham Adesanya Estate in Ajah and the Itedo Community Field in Ikate.
She added that over the course of the tour, the HMO has committed to giving health awareness talks and counselling sessions, free health checks as well as fitness gear and health monitoring devices to both players and spectators alike.
“In the communities we’ve visited so far, it’s mind-blowing to see that some people have never had even the most basic health checks.
“This is Lagos, so imagine what the situation would be in other parts of the country. With MyCityMyFootball, our desire is to see an improvement in the health consciousness and lifestyle habits of Nigerians so that they can make better choices.” Adesimbo added.
According to one of the residents of Abraham Adesanya Estate and a beneficiary of Avon HMO’s free health check, Obinna Mbaneme, staying fit was important but there’s also a need for individuals to have an eye on their key health indicators.
“I think what Avon HMO is doing is a welcome development. I’ve seen professional footballers slump and die on the field of play and this might be due to some underlying factors that went unseen so you cannot overemphasise the importance of regular checks,” he said.