Alhaji Muhammadu Bashar, the Emir of Gwandu and Chairman, Kebbi State Council of Chiefs, has launched a sickle cell awareness and sensitisation campaign in the state.
Inaugurating the campaign on Thursday at Gwandu Emirate Model Primary School in Birnin Kebbi, Bashar commended the efforts of Kebbi Sickle Cell Association (KESCA) for targeting primary school children with vital information on sickle cell.
He appealed to all stakeholders and the state government to assist in the provision of free drugs to the sickle carriers in order to ameliorate their suffering.
“Sickle cell is very excruciating to the patients and a big burden to the families of the affected victims. I appeal to all stakeholders and government to come in and assist, just as KESCA is doing because of cost of the drugs,” he said.
Hajiya Hadiza Shantali, the Coordinator of KESCA, called for collaborated effort between all stakeholders, to assist sickle carriers in the state.
She said KESCA would be willing to collaborate with NGOs, corporate organisations, government and spirited individuals in the society, to help sickle cell carriers.
“For us to catch them young, we have to go to schools so that we educate them to know about sickle cell disorder and the importance of genetic counseling. At the moment, 25 per cent of people in Kebbi state are carriers of sickle cell disorder. KESCA is targeting 2020 for total eradication of sickle cell,” she said.
Shantalli however lamented that issue of mobility and funds had been the major challenges of the organisation.