HVCF Offers Blood Chemistry For Over 100 Children With Rickets In Kaduna

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By; NONYE JULIET EKWENUGO, Kaduna 

A non-governmental organisation, Hope for the Village Child Foundation (HVCF) has offered blood chemistry to over 100 children with rickets in Kaduna as part of its activities in saving lives of children with such deformities.

The Deputy Director of HVCF, Rev. Sr. Juliana Ekwoanya, during the medical test on Tuesday at the HVCF centre in Kaduna, said, the blood chemistry is to form a baseline data before commencement of the calcium supplements.

She advocated for the provision of calcium supplements for pregnant women in order to reduce the rate of rickets in children in Kaduna State.

Ekwoanya urged parents and pregnant women to cook food rich in calcium in order to prevent skeletal deformities of their children such as bowed legs, thickened wrists and ankles and other deformities.

She said, “We give calcium supplements to children with rickets for corrective measures, and for those who have not commence or who just come for the first time we keep them until when we have done blood chemistry test. We give them calcium for every three months and then they will come back for assessment “.

The deputy director said, the agent used for the blood chemistry is very expensive, adding that they run the test twice in a year.

She lamented that much attention is not given to the children with rickets, saying there is need for more awareness.

Rev. Sr. Ekwoanya who is also head of the health section of the foundation explained that rickets is caused by lack of vitamin D that is found in foods like vegetables, adding that Vitamin D is essential for the formation of strong and healthy bones in children.

“We appeal to the government to look into these cases of calcium, make provision of calcium for pregnant women because we believe that when a woman is giving calcium during pregnancy it helps to boost her calcium level and that of the baby.

“And also the government should use our institutions to carry out investigations on other causes of these rickets in children, because you find out that these rickets are more rampant in some areas than in some areas. When you go to Southern Kaduna like Hamland , Kagarko area , Kagoma chiefdom, Kachia you see a lot of children with rickets”.

She further said that the foundation also offers medical surgery for severe cases of rickets.

A medical laboratory technician with HVCF, Friday Dauda Gyet said that people see rickets abnormalities as the way God created but it’s something that can be treated, he added.

The foundation also gives free calcium supplements to the children with rickets and pregnant women.

A 16-year old Benjamin Markus who was a beneficiary of the calcium supplements applauded HVCF, saying that he has been receiving the free calcium supplements for the past one year and his legs are getting better.

Another beneficiary, Lami Tanko who also gave testimony of how HVCF saved her from being crippled said “I was diagnosed of rickets when I was a child, my parents didn’t know what to do at that time because it was very severe that they couldn’t enroll me in school. When HVCF came to my village during one of their out reach years ago, they picked me.

“I was given calcium supplements and other medications and it really helped.  I have undergone four surgeries courtesy of HVCF. Am happy now that I can walk and stand on my feet unlike before”.

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