VIJAY SHAH via gist.ng
On the occasion of World Sickle Cell Awareness Day to be held this month and an event organised by the United Nations, a charity in Nigeria will pull out all the stops to get people understanding the condition, which often affects people of African origin and causes deformities in red blood cells.
According to online magazine gist.ng, the Sickle Cell Aid Foundation (SCAF) has organised a series of events on World Sickle Cell Awareness Day, which will happen on June 19th. SCAF will run a number of drives to encourage greater awareness, offer practical solutions for dealing with the condition and encourage more support for research into Sickle Cell. The events will take place in five states in Nigeria. These are Abuja, Lagos, Delta, Niger and Kaduna. The SCAF will also push forward social media campaigns to bring awareness all over Nigeria and the world.
Live events SCAF will plan include a set of conferences on sickle cell mapping and management of the disorder in tandem with the United States Embassy, press conferences to support the SCAF project, visits to hospitals, a nutrition forum in collaboration with the Zankli Hospital, free genotype testing and free medicines to be given out to people suffering from sickle cell disorder.
The SCAF’s social media campaign, dubbed #OneWord, encourages people to tweet or Facebook post their understanding of what sickle cell is and to encourage their friends to join in to help get more people discussing the condition, which affects 150,000 children in Nigeria per year. It is believed that 40 million Nigerians carry the gene that causes sickle cell, while not affected by it themselves, according to the Sickle Cell Foundation.
Sickle cell disorder, also known in the West as sickle cell disease is a genetically inherited condition and a form of anaemia where the red blood cells are deformed and curved, in the manner of a sickle. This causes the cells’ oxygen carrying capacity to be impaired. These blood cells do not last as long as healthy blood cells and can get stuck in blood vessels, raising the risk of stroke. The condition cannot be cured, but special drugs are available to manage the condition.
Sickle cell disease mainly affects people of African, Caribbean, Middle Eastern, Eastern Mediterranean and Asian origin.
Join the conversation on twitter using the hash tag #SickleCellDay2016 and tweeting @SCAF_Nigeria
Date: Wednesday, June 15th & Thursday, June 16th 2016
Time: 12PM -6PM
Sickle Cell Awareness Forum
Sickle Cell Nutrition and Management, packs of required drugs will be given to Sickle Cell Warriors free of charge. Key Note Speaker fro the day Dr. J.O. Lawson
Date: Thursday, June 16th 2016
Time: 2-5 PM
Venue: Zankli Medical Centre, Plot 1021, B5 Shehu Yaradua Way, Ministry of Works, Utako District, Abuja.
Visiting Sickle Cell Warriors and their care givers – Packs of required drugs will be given to Sickle Cell Warriors free of charge
Date: Friday, June 17th 2016
Venue: Asokoro General Hospital
In Partnership with the United States Embassy – Indigenous Mapping on Sickle Cell Disorder for Targeted Advocacy, Policy Making and Practical Action.
Date: Monday, June 20th 2016
Time: 10AM – 1PM
Venue: United States Embassy, Abuja