The association of People Living with Sickle Cell Disorder, Anambra State chapter has inaugurated a Skill Aquisition Center in Agulu.
The event which held at the Arena of St Andrew Catholic Church, Adazi Nnukwu was in commemoration of the UN World Sickle Cell Day celebrated annually to remind people on the fight against dreaded sickle cell anemia in the society.
Speaking at the event, the national Coordinator of the association, Aisha Edwards Maduagwu, said “the event is marked every 19 of June to remind people of our collective will and determination in the fight against the dreaded sickle cell anaemia, as well as to take stock of our previous activities with a view of putting in extra efforts where necessary.
“This year’s commemoration is quite unique and exceptional because the Government of Anambra State decided to make it a State affair, with all the paraphernalia of power and sponsorship. We have been able to record a steady decline in the births of sickle cell children, and this can be acclaimed to our determination and zeal in sickle cell sensitization, which is the hallmark in the fight against the scourge.
“Our partnership with the Churches Dioceses in Anambra State continues to bear good fruits, our sensitization programs has been enlivened with the fact that their ministers are responsible with marriage preparatory courses, hence our determination to broaden their horizon on genotype compatibility. We continue to admonish that due diligence be employed to determine the genotype status of intending couples, and incompatibilities greatly discouraged without any room for compromise.
“The theme of this year’s event “Let us rid Anambra State of Sickle Cell,” is neither farfetched nor unattainable. If the right disposition towards this campaign would be cultivated at all times, then the State would be free from the pangs of Sickle Cell anaemia in no distant time. We salute the resoluteness of the Governor Willie Obiano’s administration in this regard.
“On the epic passage and accent of the Sickle Cell Disease ( Control and Eradication) Law, 2019, by the Governor Willie Obiano administration, which was hailed as a landmark achievement by all the Sickle Cell communities in Nigeria and beyond the shores of Nigeria, is a proof that our State is a pacesetter and is living up to its sobriquet as “Light of the Nation.”
“The covid-19 pandemic has brought along with it a different level of challenges to persons living with sickle cell. This challenges can be grouped into economic and medical challenges. But the economic aspect of our challenges were allayed with a swift intervention from the wife of the Governor, Chief Mrs Osodieme Ebelechukwu Obiano, who donated large palliatives for all Sickle Cell persons in the State. This act of human kindness in favour of persons living with sickle cell anaemia has never been witnessed in other States of the federation. We also wish to commend others who donated cash and material items to help the association to cushion the ugly economic upheavals due to the covid-19 pandemic.
“The association would attest to the easy and beneficial relationship it currently enjoys with the Ministry of Health immediately Dr. Vin Okpala took saddle as the Health Commissioner. Dr Okpala is never scared of rendering any possible assistance to the association, like the enrollment of about fifty members of the Association into the Anambra State Health Insurance Scheme. Dr Okpala has brought down his wealth of experience to bear on the smooth operations of the health ministry, which saw his pragmatism and professionalism in display against emergency situations like the novel coronavirus.
“The Association would want the Hon. Commissioner of Health to ensure that all members of the sickle cell monitoring committee are serious with the job at hand, and are people of tested character and professional in dealing. We want to begin the monitoring exercise as soon as possible, for the State to continue maintaining its lead in eradication of sickle cell anaemia.
“The Association is on the verge of opening a central sickle cell home for poor indigent and orphaned sickle cell children in the State. The location of the home is at Agulu, and we call on your support to help us in equipping the home with the best of facilities. This home being the first of its kind in Nigeria, would accept, accommodate and care for sickle cell children left abandoned to fate with nowhere else to turn to. We are in dire need of facilities like, beddings and sheetings, furniture, kitchen utensils, washing machine, and other electronic appliances like air conditioner, fans and television sets. We must not relent in our determination to provide a comfortable abode that will ease them from their health challenges and other stresses of life.
“We continue to appeal for a mobility to help us in sensitization programs to impossible and difficult terrains. Another pathetic scenario is our handicap in transportation especially in this wet season due to leg ulcers and the antecedent stress in moving from place to place. It would be distinction on the part of the Anambra State government to provide us with a commuter bus that will aide us in this regard.
“As the world remembers those living with sickle cell anaemia today, while also looking into many aspects in discouraging the births of sickle cell, let us constantly reflect on the possibility of ridding our state of the dreaded scourge, and assisting in the welfare supports of those still living with the disease through a transparent and robust economic package that would bring about hope and happiness”.