Olanrewaju Lawal, Birnin-Kebbi
The Kebbi State Sickle Cells Association (KESCA) has said that six of its members are in need of N7.8 million for their hips replacement surgeries at the Federal Medical Centre, Birnin-Kebbi.
State Coordinator of the Association, Hajiya Hadiza Yahaya Shantali, made this known in Birnin-Kebbi on Wednesday while briefing newsmen preparatory to 2020 World Sickle Cell Day celebration.
She explained that the Association had limited funds to take care of the surgeries on top of their routine activities.
According to her, ‘presently, KESCA has six members in need of hip replacement surgeries at the cost of N1.3 million each, at Federal Medical Centre, Birnin-Kebbi.
‘We have very limited funds to take care of the surgeries on top of our sensitization programmes, provision of daily drugs and genotype testing in remote villages across the state,’ she stated.
According to her, the year 2020 has witnessed heightened anxiety nationwide and anxiety, which disrupted many of their activities.
Yahaya-Shantali added that the emergence of COVID-19 led to the Association shutting down its office, adding that those with sickle cell disorder are among the most vulnerable groups at risk of the viral infection.
‘This is what made us think of strategies of encouraging and sensitising our members and indeed those with an underlying medical condition on how to live through this trying period,’ she said.
She noted that it has been their tradition to join the world in celebrating the World Sickle Cell Day on the 19th June every year.
‘In the course of these celebrations, the organisation will be embarking on media awareness and sensitisation campaigns, distribution of face masks, hand sanitisers, reading materials as well as free routine drugs and some nutritional supplements to our members and those with underlying health conditions,’ she said.
The coordinator called on the government for the protection of children and individuals living with SCD through the enactment of state sickle cell laws.
At the event was Hajiya Zara’u Wali, who represented Dr Zainab Bagudu, the wife of the Kebbi State Governor, who donated N200,000 and appreciated the organisers for inviting her for the important and crucial event.
‘I commend the able leadership of Hajiya Hadiza Yahaya-Shantali for all the good works she has been doing in Kebbi State to ease the plight of those living with sickle cell, and the support that the organisation gives to patients living with sickle cell,’ she stated.