By Chioma Obinna
To mark this year’s World Sickle Cell day, Nigerians in Diaspora in partnership with Brain & Body Foundation offered medical support as well as awareness to people living with sickle cell disease in the country.
The Brain & Body Foundation (BBF) and the Nigerians In Diaspora Organisation (NIDO), Washington, D.C. Chapter are collaborating to bring awareness and medical support to sickle cell disease patients in Nigeria in celebration of the World Sickle Cell Day 2020.
Speaking on the theme of the programme tagged: “Breaking the Cycle of Pain, they stressed that children with Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) can live as close to normal life as possible if their parents and caregivers are aware and follow certain key principles.
According to Dr. David Ajibade, Executive Director BBF Programme, “We are happy to work with NIDO Washington DC Chapter. Moreover, WSCD is a chance to celebrate the amazing achievements of those living with sickle cell disease. In addition, in difficult times such as those in which we find ourselves, it is even more important to come together and support each other, drawing attention to those who are more at risk. We have put everything in place to ensure we reach out to as many people as possible with available resources.”
Ajibade explains further that the goals of BBF in celebrating the WSCD 2020 are two-fold. Firstly, to create awareness by letting people know that sickle cell disease is not a death sentence and that it is possible to live free of the symptoms of the disease, and in many cases, even recover from its complications if they are equipped with the right knowledge and tools.
“Secondly, to provide patients (ages 6 months to 18 years) and their families with the actual nutrients that will strengthen their immune and other systems, thereby helping them recover from the damaging effects of SCD.”
On his part, President NIDO-DC, Abayomi Animashaun said: “June 19 will be a day of unity and purpose for the sickle cell community and at NIDO Washington Chapter. We are proud to work with BBF to increase awareness about SCD and its impact on individuals and their families in Nigeria.”
SCD is a global health problem affecting millions of people around the world. It is estimated that approximately 150,000 children are born with sickle cell disease in Nigeria every year, while about 40 million Nigerians are healthy carriers of the sickle cell gene.
BBF is a Non-profit organization established to help raise the level of health and human performance of people everywhere. They focus on brain health and creating easy access to important nutrients for parents and caregivers…nutrients that are critical to the healthy development of children.