By; AMOS TAUNA, Kaduna
The Country Director, Global Peace Foundation Nigeria, Rev. John Joseph Hayab, has called on the federal and state governments to rise to the challenge of ensuring proper sensitization of sickle cell as a way to reduce being born with the disease.
He stressed the need that Nigerians should be made to go on genotype test before marriage as a way to reduce the disease in the country.
Speaking on the World Sickle Cell Day, Rev. Hayab noted that those suffering with sickle cell anaemia need to be shown love and care as a way of encouraging them (patients) be able to fight the scourge.
He also explained that parents and relatives of those living with sickle cell should be supported in any way possible, stressing that majority of them are past great challenges of taking care of their loved ones suffering with the disease.
The Country Director explained that Global Peace Foundation Nigeria has to go into collaboration with those living with sickle cell in order to create more awareness of what those living with sickle cell are passing through and the need for all to come together with a view of supporting and helping them where necessary.
He called on the National Assembly to have a legislative law that would give special attention to sickle cell patients with affordable treatment to be able to safe many with from the suffering they are going through.
He lamented that many of them are facing stigmatization in the society, saying that there should a law that will protect from any form of stigmatization.
Miss Anna Oppa Young, the state coordinator of those living with sickle cell said they had to come out to celebrate the day with a view of sanitizing people saying that the disease is not killer one but could be cured with proper handling and treatment of the patient.
She called on government to protect them from being stigmatized in any form, adding that stigmatization causes a lot problems to them and make some who can not stand the pressure to died before time.
According to Blessing Joseph, a 24-year old said, “We found ourselves with sickle cells, we did not bargained for but we grew up and found ourselves with sickle cell. People should not stigmatized us in the society but we should be encouraged so that we the victims can live a longer life.”
Miss Miracle Danjuma, a 21-year old patient of sickle cell said that sickle cell is not a killer or communicated disease but it is curable and solicited with people to always be patience with them because they always become uncomfortable and need love from people around them to be able to stand the challenges they are going through.
She enjoined intending couples to choose testing their genotype over love, pointing out that it is better for people to know their genotype before falling into love as a way of reducing the rate those living with the disease are increasing every day.
Those who spoke on the occasion stressed the need for the government to make arrangements to ensure Nigerians are made to go through their genotype test to ascertain who they are to marriage to avoid having children with sickle cell.