Foundation empowers sickle cell patients, seeks viable policy on disease
The Tonymay Foundation, which recently organised a social welfare programme for sickle cell patients in Kirikiri, Lagos, has stressed the need for a viable policy on sickle cell anaemia.
Tagged “Sickle Care Outreach (SCO),” the programme, featured lectures by medical experts, counseling, free genotype test, cultural dance and presentation of self-care tool kits to people living with the disease.
Chairman of the foundation, Ebo Otokhinaon, remarked that the aim of the foundation is to through advocacy channels such as workshops, seminars, counseling and monthly clinics eliminate sickle cell disorder in the country.
He said presently, over 150 patients from about five local government areas in Lagos State attend the foundation’s monthly clinic at St. Joseph Catholic Church Clinic, Kirikiri.
He said it is quite unfortunate “that a country like Nigeria with the highest number of people living with sickle cell in the world does not have any policy on sickle cell,” calling on governments at both federal and state levels “to urgently initiate a policy on sickle cell.”
On the effective management of sickle cell disorder, a Medical Director, Vita Hope and Multi-Consult Medical Centre, Lagos, Dr. Oliha Ogbemudia, instructed the patients to drink much water, avoid extreme cold or hot things, avoid stress, avoid malaria and other infections, eat balanced diet, vegetables and fruits take daily medication (folic acid, multivitamins, B-complex) and regular medical check-up.
At the occasion, over 250 self-care tool kits were presented to the people living with sickle cell.
Executive Director of the Foundation, Winifred Otokhina, stated that the self-care tool kit contains treated mosquito net, hand book on sickle cell, water bottle for hydration and drugs commonly used for both prevention and treatment of sickle cell.
She further stated that the handbook is rich and contains all the necessary information that will keep the patient out of crisis. “The book will also help at eradicating the myth and superstition built around the genetic disorder,” she said.
Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, Mrs. Titi Balogun, expressed her appreciation to the foundation for their good gesture and care urging other foundations and NGOs to follow the good steps of Tonymay Foundation.
Chief Executive Officer, Mrs. Edith Otokhina also expressed gratitude to the Embassy of the United States, Nigeria, Mandela Washington Fellowship Alumni Association (MWFAA) and others who made the programme a huge success.