King Akan in Abuja
In light of exposing the deplorable state of healthcare provision, creating awareness of sickle cell disease and raising funds for patients of the disease, MissDee For Sickle Cell Foundation produced a movie ‘Crescent’ which premiered on Sunday, November 3, 2019 at Genesis Cinemas, Ceddi Plaza, Abuja.
The movie features popular Kannywood actor, Yakubu Mohammed, Iyke Okechukwu, Ivie Okujaye, Adaora Nwodo and special appearance by Senator Dino Melaye.
‘Crescent’ spotlights three young sickle cell warriors (as they prefer to be called) admitted in a hospital at the same time and their constant battle to survive. The warriors were being managed by a female doctor who just returned to Nigeria from the United Kingdom. She had to deal with the challenges of a poor hospital system, office politics and a tough environment to ensure the patients got back to their various families alive.
Speaking with the movie producer, Adaora Nwodo, she had this to say, “I was motivated to produce this movie to create more awareness for the disease, I come from a family that has the sickle cell trait. I have lost some family members and close friends to this disease. I started this sickle cell advocacy journey with the Sickle Cell Aid Foundation (SCAF) founded by my cousin Nkechi Egbiri.”
“I have been running my NGO for nine years now, almost all our cases and projects have been self-funded. In cases requiring additional financing for my registered patients, we have leveraged on the generosity of others through crowd funding. In the past nine years, the NGO has been able to send two patients to India to have various surgeries” she said.
Japheth Ezekiel Maichibi, a sickle cell patient who has been working with the MissDee For Sickle Cell Foundation applauded the efforts of Miss Adaora and the MissDee For Sickle Cell Foundation for their efforts in creating awareness of the sickle cell disease through the movie.
According to him, “I really appreciate Miss Adaora for creating this movie despite little or no funding support. I hope it draws the needed attention to the sickle cell community because the truth is we are suffering. I know what I’ve been through, I’ve been down and out of school since 2014 just when I was about to graduate. Sickle cell strikes at any time and it has no joy.”
Yakubu Mohammed who was a major cast in the movie described the movie as enriching and enlightening.
“I enjoyed every minute on set. I fell in love with the script because it aims at changing the narrative. The movie addresses a lot of issues, like the mistakes people make because of their self-centeredness. I hope many people get to see it and pass the message to others.”
Across the world, Nigeria bears the highest burden of the disease where about 25 per cent of the population or one in four people possess the sickle cell gene, with two to three per cent living with the disease.
According to the WHO there are 150,000 babies born with the disease each year in Nigeria and about 40 million people suffer in total. This number is expected to rise. With more efforts like ‘Crescent’, surely there will be more awareness about the sickle cell disease and more and more sickle cell patients will be able to tell their stories.