The Wife of the President, Hajia Aisha Buhari has called for active involvement of all Nigerians in the campaign against Sickle Cell to eradicate the disease in the country. Hajia Buhari made the call in Umuahia, Abia State at the inauguration of a Sickle Cell Diagnostic and Treatment Centre built by the Wife of the Abia State Governor, Mrs. Nkechi Ikpeazu as part of activities to mark this year’s Sickle Cell awareness Day in the area.
The Sickle Cell Diagnostic and Treatment Centre, built by the Wife of the Abia State Governor through her pet project, is designed to bring succor to persons living with sickle cell condition as well as offer counseling services. Inaugurating the Sickle Cell Treatment and Diagnostic Centre, the wife of the President, Hajia Aisha Buhari stressed the need for counseling and proper blood tests by intending couples to reduce the burden of the disease in the country.
Represented by the Wife of former Military Administrator of Katsina and Kebbi States, Deaconess Grace Charma, Hajia Buhari noted that parents had enormous responsibility in the fight against the disease. She expressed the hope that the centre would make meaningful impact on the lives of those living with the condition.
Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State represented by the State, Deputy Governor, Sir Udo Oko Chukwu described healthcare as a cardinal policy of the state government and stressed the need for sustained awareness in addressing the problem of sickle cell. In a Speech, the Wife of the Abia State Governor, Mrs. Nkechi Ikpeazu called for the elimination of sentiments in the fight against sickle cell and urged those affected by the disease not to lose hope, but take advantage of various treatment options available.
A Consultant Pediatrician, Dr. Mildred Ukoha, in a lecture highlighted the challenges experienced by sickle cell patients to include high cost of medication, psychological trauma and frequent visits to hospitals. Dr. Ukoha called for the inclusion of sickle cell treatment in the National Health Insurance Scheme to reduce the financial burden on patients.
The event which attracted wives of Imo State Governor, Mrs. Nneoma Okorocha and her Enugu State counterpart, Mrs. Monica Ugwuanyi also featured a road show to sensitize residents of the state on the dangers of sickle cell.