For our very first Youth Series post, we, 4 Youth By Youth (4YBY), are delighted to recognize Ojo Victor Oluwaseun. Victor started as a participant in the 2019 4YBY Designathon and is now a supervisor of our nationwide study (4YBY RCT implementation). We welcome you to read about Victor and his accomplishments and view his testimonial to see his responses to the following prompts as well as additional questions asked throughout the interview:
- Tell us about your journey with 4YBY. How did you connect with and join 4YBY? What have you contributed to and/or accomplished in 4YBY? In what capacity were you involved in 4YBY?
- What has been your favorite part of 4YBY?
- How and why has 4YBY impacted your life? Highlight the opportunities, uniqueness, and challenges in being a part of 4YBY.
- What message do you have for 4YBY to continue to actively engage young people in research and other aspects of their lives?
“My name is Ojo Victor Oluwaseun, an entrepreneur and a medical researcher. I am a graduate of The Federal University of Technology Akure with a major in Applied Geophysics.
My love for solving problems paved my way into founding FavoriteDoctor which is geared at preventing avoidable deaths due to bad health care services in Nigeria. I lost a loved one from the horrible state of the Nigerian healthcare system.
Advancing healthcare in Africa has always been a drive, a passion, and a career of mine. Over the years, I have steadily built and positioned myself within the health care sector. I believe achieving universal health care coverage is possible, and what we do at FavouriteDoctor proves just this. We aspire to build a platform that relates more than health to our users. We provide health care continuity that is currently missing in Nigeria and other developing countries. Innovation around health care should be centered around meeting patients’ needs. Christopher A. Viehbacher – the CEO, of Sanofi, said, “If you think about how healthcare is delivered, it’s on an ad hoc basis. Someone comes into a hospital, someone comes into a pharmacy, someone comes to a doctor. But beyond these touchpoints, the patients are on their own. There’s no real continuity of care.”
I am one of 2019‘s The Bridge Program Fellows, who stood out as one of the brightest and most determined young persons the program had that year. I was taught how to lead myself, lead others, entrepreneurial thinking, problem-solving, networking, project execution, and presentation.
In 2019, my love for solving problems led me and my team to emerge as one of the winners in solving HIV related issues within adolescents, in the 4YBY designathon contest.
The idea borne behind this was a result of current research which shows that:
- Nigerian youths (tomorrow’s leaders) are ranked high worldwide in new HIV infections, youth living with human immunodeficiency virus (YLHIV), and AIDS-related deaths.
- Fewer than 1 in 5 Nigerian youth have been tested for HIV due to individual, social, and structural barriers.
- The current HIV testing approach in Nigeria does not address the needs of young persons.
This made me cofound iUngo HIV self-test Nigeria. The iUngo pack, one of the project interventions used a model of repackaging HIVST kit, utilizes youth ambassadors to distribute the kits in various student communities and campuses and the use of WhatsApp messaging to follow-up with the participants. We utilized mobile clinics to provide youth-friendly services, including STI testing, to our participants. The iUngo pack intervention was implemented in Akure, Ondo state.
It provides health technologies to achieve the World Health Organization (WHO) 95-95-95 target among adolescents in Nigeria. The idea is that by 2035, 95% of people, especially adolescents within ages 14 – 24 years old who are HIV infected, will be diagnosed; 95% of them would have been diagnosed and will be on antiretroviral treatment; 95% of them who receive antiretrovirals will be virally suppressed.
I was the co-founder, COO, and adviser to iUngo HIV self-test Nigeria working with a few non-governmental organizations (NGOs) at the time.
During the pandemic, my team and I developed an interactive game app (COVID SMASH) for young adults by informing them in a fun and creative manner concerning the novel coronavirus.
To help flatten the curve, we developed a COVID self-assessment guide that follows Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) guidelines. It allows patients who are worried about COVID-19 to access doctors for their health. Through this, we referred suspected COVID patients to the nearest NCDC facility within their locality.
Additionally, FavouriteDoctor is currently a telemedicine service with built-in electronic medical records that is dedicated to enabling and empowering users to make safe and smart choices for their health and well-being by offering a quick health response system that prioritizes patients and their health with the best customer relationship. We do this by connecting patients to fully qualified and registered medical professionals from the comfort of their homes through WhatsApp, a commonly used mobile app among youths and adults.
We are currently connecting all health care services in Nigeria together by identifying trusted and approved hospitals and diagnostic service centres with no disparity. Now, patients are connected to the doctor’s office, pharmacy, diagnostic service centres, gym centres, and nutritionists, irrespective of different locations. We aspire to be the people’s first primary choice, due to the poor primary care system in Nigeria, and also help improve the health care system in Nigeria by creating better, quality health and personalized health care.
Working with 4YBY to help develop solutions that help Nigerian youths to live a better and more informed life has been impactful. The training and mentorship by the 4YBY team helped pave the way to beginning my startup. More rewarding, however, is working alongside other youths who are building innovations to a better Nigerian future. My favorite part of 4YBY is receiving the opportunity to work with young people who are the same age as me and collaborating with them to form new ideas. It’s inspiring to connect with many different young people from different states and see the vision of opportunity together. I believe that as long as youths are involved in solving current challenges, a better Nigerian future awaits us all.
I am challenged to do big things.
I love to travel, learn, and try new things across the board.”
Please feel free to follow our youth member, Victor, on social media to connect, network, and stay up-to-date on his current work.