First African Congress on Sickle Cell Disease Holds in Nigeria

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The Dr. SickleCell – Center For Sickle Cell Disease in association with Olusegun Obasanjo Foundation will hold the first African Congress on Sickle Cell Disease (ACSCD) in Nigeria.

The event which is being organised with the support of a host of sickle cell organisations across Africa and the world will hold from October 31 to November 2 at Landmark Center, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Disclosing this during a press conference in Abuja, ACSCD co-chair, Dr. David Ajaere, said key stakeholders and organisations expected at the congress include Federal Ministry of Health, Lagos State Ministry of Health, Lagos State Blood Transfusion Services(LSBTS), World Health Organisation(WHO Africa), Non-governmental and corporate organisations, multilateral donor agencies, health researchers, civil society organisations, and the academic community.

The statement said that the conference, first of its kind in the history of health intervention programmes for sickle cell disorder in Africa, would seek to address the challenges of the disorder and foster possible solutions to its effect as a public health burden.

According to the statement, Dr. Ajaere also said that the overall goal of the conference was to facilitate exchange of information among public health experts, medical professionals, researchers, policy-makers, including key stakeholders, to highlight challenges and opportunities, and enhance strategies to control Sickle Cell Disease in Africa.

Dignitaries expected to attend the event include Honorable Osagie Ehanire, Minister of Health Nigeria; Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, Director – WHO Africa; His Majesty, Ronald Muwenda Mutebi ll , The Kabaka of Buganda Kingdom, Uganda; Dr. Chitalu Chilufya MP, Minister of Health Zambia; Honorable Kwaku Agyaman, Minister of Health Ghana; Honorable Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng, Minister of Health Uganda; Dr. Randal Mills, CEO – National Marrow Donor Program/Be The Match, USA; and Mrs. Toyin Saraki, Founder – Wellbeing Foundation Africa.

Other key delegates expected to grace the event include, Mike McCullough, Chief Information Officer – National Marrow Donor Program/Be The Match, USA; Dr. Lakiea Bailey, Director- Sickle Cell Consortium, USA; Dr. Carol Ossai, Founder -Sickle Cell and Young Stroke Survivors, UK; Mrs. Lanre Tunji-Ajay, President- Sickle Cell Awareness Group of Ontario, Canada; Samuel Mbunya, Program Administrator- AMPATH Kenya; Dr. Enam Bankas, Founder- Sickle Life Ghana; Adam Thompson, Executive Director- eHealth Africa; Cassandra Trimnell, CEO- Sickle Cell 101, USA; Ms. Toyin Adesola, Executive Director– Sickle Cell Advocacy & Management Initiative, Ssebandeke Ashiraf – East Africa Sickle Cell Alliance; Samira Sanusi, President- Samira Sanusi Sickle Cell Foundation and Anne Welsh, Author – Painless & The New face of Sickle Cell and chronic Disease Advocacy in Africa.

ACSCD International Affairs Coordinator, Amb. Eddie Resphanto, said because of the magnitude of the event, “opportunities abound for those who want to be a sponsor, exhibitor, a speaker or partner which also includes non-governmental and corporate organisations.”

The statement said the ACSCD Congress being held under the high patronage of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, was coming at a time when a medical expert, Dr. Emoruwa Oyefo of Eko Hospital, disclosed that Nigeria had the largest population of Sickle Cell children in Africa.

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