Sickle Cell Disease: UN Global Awareness Plans

SICKLE Cell Disease is an agonising blood condition which affects one in every four West Africans. While it is generally controlled in the western world, a lack of medication and funding in Africa means that victims will regularly die.

 The United Nations considers the situation so serious that, in 2008, its General Assembly adopted a resolution recognising Sickle Cell as a public health problem. It also established an official Global Awareness Day to take place each year on June 19th.
 

Three organisations, the LFSCA, Zankli and Fantsuam Foundation have formed a consortium of Sickle Cell Support organisations, working together to tackle the high level of this disease in northern Nigeria.

 In response to the UN awareness day, Fantsuam Foundation has organised its own celebrations. These will centre around the launch of vital Sickle Cell clinics at the General Hospital, Kafanchan, Kaduna State, Nigeria, and at Abuja, Nigeria, on June 18th and 19th respectively.
 

Plans have been made to screen 500 children for the disease free of charge – although volunteers are preparing for twice that number. Information about this has been broadcast on radio stations in three different local languages.

 

All children screened will be given a one-month supply of folic acid and multivitamin tablets. Once test results are known, those affected will be followed up at the Kafanchan Sickle Cell Clinic with psycho-social and medical support. The awareness days will also offer counselling and videos to tackle the many myths which surround the disorder.

 Local interest in this Fantsuam Foundation event has reached enormous levels, because it marks the first time free screening for Sickle Cell has been made available in its poverty-stricken host rural communities.
 
However, we at Fantsuam are keen to publicise this launch more widely in the hope that businesses, organisations and inviduals will offer support – both in terms of finance and knowledge to ensure these clinics succeed long into the future.
 

Fantsuam Foundation would therefore like to offer the opportunity to sponsor any part of the following. The Screening tent and banners; provision of company/individual labelled bottled water which will be used during and after the event (an increased intake of water can help prevent crises in Sickle Cell patients).

 

In addition, they require support for the Penicillin V and Mosquito Net Fund for Sickle Cell Patients; the cost of rental for buses to take participants on a slow ride through Kafanchan town; 2 travel tickets for Diaspora experts to and from Nigeria; and hotel accommodation for four overseas experts in Abuja for one week.

Companies and individuals will have the opportunity for exhibition and/or be acknowledged in their final report to the United Nations Development Project.

Should you welcome the opportunity to discuss this or have any further queries please contact nicola.fishman@dadamac.net in the first instance. For additional information and/or to make a donation please see our Dadamac  Sickle Cell Project page.