Nigerian Consulate to issue passports in Minnesota - OPID News

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Wednesday, 16 March 2022

Nigerian Consulate to issue passports in Minnesota

 Nigerian Consulate to issue passports in Minnesota

Lot Egopija

Consul- General of Nigeria in New York, Amb. Lot Egopija, said the Consulate would commence 2022 passport intervention in Minnesota by April to meet the consular needs of its nationals in the state.

Egopija disclosed this when he received some officials of National Association of Nigerian Nurses in North America (NANNNA), City College of New York (CCNY), and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre (MSKCC) at Nigeria House in New York.

The CCNY-MSKCC in partnership with NANNNA met with Egopija to discuss possible areas of collaboration on health-based community outreach initiatives.

NANNNA is a united organisation of all the Nigerian Nurses Associations and Nursing School Alumni in North America working to improve the health and quality of lives of Nigerians at home and abroad.

The Consul-General said it would be an opportunity for the CCNY-MSKCC to key into its intervention exercise in Minnesota to implement its proposed initiatives.

“We have scheduled to have consular services in some of the states that our people are more. For instance, in April we will be in Minnesota and normally in such gathering we have close to 400 Nigerians.

“It could also be a veritable tool for your organisation to be present there too for public enlightenment to create awareness and see how you can reach the unreached.

“We also intend to go to Rhode Island, Philadelphia and Ohio this year,’’ he said.

According to him, the Consulate covers 20 states out of 50 states in the U.S, and that the Mission will be willing to partner with the organisation once in every quarter to attend to the health of its nationals.

“We want to work with you and we want to do everything to make sure that Nigerians are reached healthwise and Nigerians are advised on the need for them to stay healthy,’’ he said.

Egopija, however, commended Dr Grace Ogiehor-Enoma, the Founder of Nigerian Nurses Association of USA, for holding its quarterly medical outreach at Nigeria House.

The Nigerian envoy said the outreach had been fruitful and it had contributed to increase life expectancy of some nationals who were found to be having some health challenges.

“This is another level of our cooperation; you went a step higher in this initiative by introducing your partner to collaborate with us. We will be willing to partner with them too.

“We will study and examine the areas we can better cooperate with one another if these areas will meet the needs of our nationals.

“Whatever will increase life expectancy of our nationals through timely health intervention, we will always support that, that is why the Consulate will be opened to your programmes,’’ he said.

Ogiehor-Enoma, who also is the Chairman, Board of Directors, NANNNA, said Nigerian Nurses had been coming for its medical outreach at the Consulate since 2004.

She said the association was lucky to have a new partner in 2022-MSKCC, one of the biggest institutions in the U.S. providing cancer treatment and prevention.

“We wanted their expertise in helping our community on cancer prevention and education. The national association went into collaborative agreement with the partner to work with our people.

“We were able to provide education to our members through the association in 2021 and I was so excited when a proposal came, if they could have a structured preventive programme at Nigeria House,’’ she said.

In his presentation, Mr Raul Hernandez, Outreach Coordinator for CCNY-MSKCC Partnership, said the initiative is a grant-funded partnership of CCNY to provide services for residents of New York City with the leading cancer centre, MSKCC.

Hernandez said CCNY-MSKCC partnership focused on cancer disparities through cancer education and navigation to screening, providing community tailored workshop.

“In 2021, we provided workshop to over 1,400 participants on topics such as breast, cervical, colorectal and prostate cancer screening.

“Also, in partnership with community organisations, we developed culturally tailored education sessions and in July we developed a colorectal cancer screening workshop incorporating Nigerian diet.

“We are currently developing a diet workshop for some Nigerians diaspora,’’ he said.

Also speaking, Ms Josona Tonda, Community Outreach Manager, Immigrant Health and Cancer Disparities Centre, MSKCC, said the association would be willing to implement a permanent programme at the Consulate in collaboration with NANNNA.

Tonda said they were willing to join efforts with the Consulate during certain period such as National Cancer awareness month, health and cultural weeks, and NANNNA events to implement its programme

She also expressed willingness to increase communication with the Nigerian Community-based Organisations (CBOs), identify potential stakeholders and health partners to reinforce the network. PMNEWS

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