By Gabriel Olawale
As part of commitment to ease the pain of sickle cell anaemia patients, domestic passengers on Arik Air, Nigeria recently raised N5 million towards the cause of the patients.
The initiative which was made possible through partnership with the Sickle Cell Foundation Nigeria, SCFN lasted five months through an in-flight donation scheme to raise funds in support of gains made so far in the control of sickle cell disorder in the country.
Receiving the special appreciation award, Senior Vice President Arik Air Limited, Siva Ramachandran, said commitment to raise funds from passengers was out of passion to make life easier for every Nigerian.
“We started the scheme in October, 2014 and so far we have collected over N5 milion. The passengers are informed that there is sickle cell in Nigeria, and about the Sickle Cell Foundation and their need for money to run the Foundation. They put some money in an envelope through which we have been able to put smiles on the faces of Nigerians with the disease.
“Arik Air really appreciate the general public for their generous donation towards this cause and we believe they will do more.”
Founder of SCFN Prof. Olu Akinyanju emphasised the need for Nigeria to invest in research in the intervention presently in making life easier for sickle cell patients was as a result of American affection for research.
“Not less than 150,000 children in Nigeria are born with sickle cell anaemia annually which is one in every four is a carrier while in Africa-Americans is one in 12. But yet they have 21 sickle cell centres and the entire improvement story we have today emanate from them. Historically, people use to die in childhood with sickle cell anaemie and it was in America they start how to make them leave longer and better this is because they were doing research,” he added.