Wednesday, 23 June 2021

World Sickle Cell Day: Anambra first lady calls for robust sensitisation

Ukpa Ewa | 22nd June 2021

AWKA - The 2021 edition of world sickle cell day took a new dimension in Awka, Anambra State as the Chiemma Empowerment Foundation (CEF) in collaboration with Anambra State Ministry of Health marked the day in a special way with wife of the state governor, Dr. (Mrs.) Ebelechukwu Obiano calling for robust participation in sensitising the public on the available control measures. 

The event which was held on Saturday June 19th, 2021 at Professor Dora Akunyili Women Development Center Awka with the theme: "Importance of Genotype Compatibility in Marriage "had rewarding activities where people living with sickle cell condition received a great ray of hope.

Speaking at the event, Wife of the Governor of Anambra State Dr. (Mrs.) Ebelechukwu Obiano who officially declared world sickle cell day 2021 open opined that  there was need to dissect the issue of sickle cell and move away from paying lip services but providing solutions. 

According to the first lady, who was represented by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Health Dr. Simeon Onyemeachi, Sickle cell disease (SCD) has assumed public health proportions with approximately 300,000 new births annually globally, with major health implications especially in Sub-Saharan Africa, where Nigeria accounts for about three quarters of the disease burden. 

Arising from the estimated 150,000 annual births of babies with sickle cell anaemia -regarded as the most common form of sickle cell disease. These staggering statistics, according to health experts, has ranked Nigeria as the worst in terms of sickle cell burden in the world. 

Mrs. Obiano maintained that in every 1000 life birth about 25 people had sickle cell anemia thus the need to move away from making SCD reiterate to making it a reality.

Mrs. Obiana further attributed the prevalent of sickle cell disorder in the country to Ignorance, lack of awareness of people genotype , religious practices and beliefs.

She however, advised warriors of SCD to  practice healthy habits like drinking enough water and eating nutritious food were crucial.

"Eat more fruits and vegetables, drink at least 3 to 4.5 liters of water daily to avoid dehydration, stay away from refined food which contained monosodium glutamate"

"The fact you are a warrior today, you can attain any height and live good life till old age".

While urging them to enroll in the free medical health insurance ongoing at Anambra State Health Insurance Agency (ASHIA) for persons living with sickle cell disease in the state as provided by government.

Similarly, in his goodwill message, the Director FIDES Media, Rev. Fr. Martin Anusi who acknowledged challanges experienced by patients and their families and caregivers said people living with sickle cell disorder should be given adequate attention. 

He advised parents not  to be distracted neither allow issues to be complicated before availing their wards for frequent check-up.

The Priest graciously thanked the foundation for their ceaseless assistance in reaching out to people with SCD.

Delivery a lecture on "Sickle  Cell Management and Importance of Genotype Compactability " a Consultant Hamatologist , NAUTH, Nnewi Dr. Ifeoma Clara Ajuba emphasized that SCD was a multi system disorder which affects the blood and required multi displinary approach with comprehensive care. 

The inherited condition causes red blood cells to stick together thereby blocking  blood flow and oxygen from reaching all parts of the body.

She maintaintaed that Sickle cell disease was the commonest cause of stroke in children thus people with sickle cell disoder needed regular checkups with their doctor, follow treatment and medication as prescribed by their doctors.

Dr. Ifeoma Ajuba also solicited for creation of more sickle cell centers in the state for handling of acute cases and treatment. 

Buttressing her thought, the Program Coordinator Non-communicable Diseases Anambra State Ministry of Health Mrs. Arinze Ego said the day was remarkable to celebrate to help understand and prevent the disorder as there was nothing like "faith"  in genotype comparability.

Crux of the event was free Genotype test for children and presentation of cash donation by Dr. Ebelechukwu Obiano to the the foundation.( MOI)

Photos from the event: