Life & Styles

World Sickle Cell Day: Ogun First Lady, Mrs. Bamidele Abiodun commemorates with people living with SCD

Collaborative efforts of healthcare providers, governments, and international organizations have been identified as essential in supporting sickle cell patients and ensuring the delivery of equitable healthcare to them.

Ogun State First Lady, Mrs. Bamidele Abiodun stated this today at the event organized by her pet project, Ajose Foundation and Aglow Sickle Cell Club to sensitize people about sickle cell in commemoration of 2024 World Sickle Cell Day held today at the June 12 Cultural Center, Kuto, Abeokuta.

According to her, the theme “Hope Through Progress: Advancing Sickle Cell Care Globally.” emphasizes the importance and effectiveness of speaking with one voice to advance Sickle Cell care globally noting that it was a call to unite the Sickle Cell community, to raise awareness, reduce stigma, and drive meaningful changes for those affected by the disorder.

Mrs. Abiodun said “Sickle Cell Disease affects millions worldwide, transcending race and ethnicity, with a significant proportion of affected individuals in Africa. According to the WHO, Nigeria accounts for about 33% of the 300,000 children diagnosed every year with the disease. We can expect that a good number of such children will be born in Ogun State, as our own Ministry of Health has said that 25% of the country’s total population are carriers of genes that give rise to the genetic disorder.

“The recent approval of gene therapies in America marks a significant milestone in SCD treatment, offering hope for a cure. However, for us in Africa, we must work even harder to improve accessibility and affordability of these treatments for all patients.”
She added.

The First Lady said that Sickle Cell Disease does not only impact the patient but the entire family explaining that parents often bear the emotional and financial toll of caring for a sick child and watching a loved one suffer through episodes of severe pain and complications.

Mrs. Abiodun emphasized that the day served as a reminder of the daily challenges faced by those living with Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) while calling for urgent action in the area of education, sensitization and enlightenment on curbing sickle cell disease in Ogun State and the world at large.

Founder, Aglow Sickle Cell Club, Dr. (Mrs) Funke Oyeneye in her address lauded the Governor Dapo Abiodun led administration for the improved access to quality healthcare in Ogun state noting that it is the first state in the Federation to have Health Insurance Scheme for sickle cell patients and pregnant women.

She further stated that individuals and corporate bodies should continue to amplify the voices of patients and families affected by the disease calling for support for patient advocacy groups in creating awareness and reducing stigma.

The event had in attendance children and adults living with sickle cell anaemia across the state with side attractions that include sickle cell diary, drama, poem, talent hunt and quiz competition.

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