Foundation, Nigerians in Diaspora Partner to Support Sickle Cell Patients

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Martins Ifijeh

The Brain and Body Foundation (BBF) and the Nigerians In Diaspora Organisation (NIDO), Washington, D.C. Chapter are collaborating to bring awareness and medical support persons living with sickle cell disease in Nigeria in celebration of this year’s World Sickle Cell Day.

In a statement made available to THISDAY recently to mark this year’s World Sickle Cell Day, the Executive Director, BFF, Dr. David Ajibade, said the commemoration was a chance to celebrate the amazing achievements of those living with sickle cell disease.

He said: “In addition, in difficult times such as those in which we find ourselves, it is even more important to come together and support each other, drawing attention to those who are more at risk. We have put everything in place to ensure we reach out to as many people as possible with available resources.”

“Our goals at commemorating the day are two-folds; Firstly, to create awareness by letting people know that sickle cell disease is not a death sentence and that it is possible to live free of the symptoms of the disease, and in many cases, even recover from its complications if they are equipped with the right knowledge and tools.

“Secondly, to provide patients (ages sisx months to 18 years) and their families with the actual nutrients that will strengthen their immune and other systems, thereby helping them recover from the damaging effects of SCD,” he said.

On his part, the President, NIDO, Washington DC chapter, Abayomi Anumashaun said June 19 will be a day of unity and purpose for the sickle cell community, and NIDO Washington Chapter. “We are proud to work with BBF to increase awareness about SCD and its impact on individuals and their families in Nigeria,” he added.

SCD is a global health problem affecting millions of people around the world. It is estimated that approximately 150,000 children are born with sickle cell disease in Nigeria every year, while about 40 million Nigerians are healthy carriers of the sickle cell gene.