By; JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
The Founder/CEO of Valuechain Sickle Cell Foundation, Musa Bashir Usman has advocated for the setting up of special centres to cater for sickle cell patients.
He made the call in an interview with newsmen after his foundation donated drugs and other items, including Insecticide Treated Nets (ITNs) to Jammatul Nasril Islam (JNI) Hospital at Tudun Wada, Kaduna on Saturday as part of activities to mark the World Sickle Cell Day, marked on June 19 annually.
“We have special centres that deal with cancer and other health conditions in Nigeria, but you rarely see a sickle cell centre.
“We are appealing that special centres are set up to ensure patients live life to the fullest,” he said.
He stressed that there is need for more sensitization on the dangers of sickle cell and how to prevent it.
“Let everyone know that lives of sickle cell patients matters and know how to prevent it. For those already affected, let’s see how we can support them to live quality lives and prevent future cases through deliberate enlightenment and aggressive sensitization,” he said.
The CEO, who is also the publisher of Valuechain Magazine, said that the foundation comprises of those with like-minded individuals, to propagate awareness on sickle cell in NIgeria for the message to reach the grassroots so that all can know how to prevent it.
“We go into making donations, we rally round to get drugs and other essential items that will alleviate pains of those affected.
“We have seen some patients live up to 80, 85 years. We don’t want any to die. For those not yet married, we want to create awareness to ensure they marry the right genotype,” he added.
Acting Chief Medical Director of JNI Hospital, Dr. Ibrahim Ahmed, said that they were grateful and excited by the donation.
“If more people do it this way, most patients will not have problems. What is delaying them from taking their drugs regimen is lack of finance,” he said.
Speaking further, he said that people should not just wait for the World Sickle Cell Day to sensitize, but do it daily.
“Everyday is day of awareness. Let’s start it from the grassroots. Let’s counsel them before the marriage.
“If the genotype is not compatible, they should not even marry at all to prevent sickle cell,” he said.
Items presented included 20 insecticide treated nets, 80 boxes of Folic Acid rack containing 100 doses and 340 packs of Paludrine.
It would be recalled that three days ago, Valuechain Foundation made a similar donation to Barau Dikko Specialist Hospital in Kaduna.