BY ISAIAH BENJAMIN
As part of efforts to give succour to those suffering from sickle cell anemia in Kaduna state, the wife of the state Governor, Arch. Hadiza Isma El-Rufai has donated supportive drugs to the Sickle Cell Patient Health Promotion Centre, (SCPHPC), Kaduna for free distribution to patients of the Centre.
Presenting the drugs to the Founder of SCPHPC, Hajiya Badiya Magaji Inuwa, yesterday, the governors wife said the sickle cell aneamia patients should not be left on their own, hence, the need to render support to the Centre who has been caring for over 6,000 patients for the past nine years.
She promised that the State Government will continue to provide assistance to the Centre, and urged the founder of the foundation and her team to continue the good work of giving free routine drugs, enlightenment and education about sickle cell anaemia to the public.
Speaking earlier, Kaduna State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajiya Hafsat Mohammed Baba, said though sickle cell disorder is a global health problem, Nigeria is home to the highest population of carriers of the gene.
“In Nigeria one in every four persons are carriers of the sickle cell gene, a figure well above 40 million. It is estimated that over 150,000 babies are born with symptomatic sickle cell anaemia each year in the country. These figures are disturbing and present to us a daunting task.
“This occasion is an attempt to tackle one aspect of the tasks which is medication albeit in a small way. Other aspects which include research, counseling, genotype testing, pre-natal diagnosis and increased awareness to end stigmatization will have to continue and we hope that one day, a conclusive end to the menace of the sickle cell disorder is achieved and new cases will be a thing of the past,” she said.
The commissioner added that the benevolence showed to the sicklers in Kaduna State through the provision of medical support is the beginning of responsible outpouring of goodwill to all such patients and called on worthy individuals and entities to emulate the gesture and provide more care for sickle cell anaemia patients.
She further disclosed that there is no stopping the resolve to sanitize the society; “No clog in our wheel of progress and no obstacle to our collective development. Our Ministry and office of her Excellency, wife of the Governor shall always come together to initiate laudable programs for the overall development of our people”.
In her own responds, Founder of SCPHPC, Hajiya Inuwa, said the Centre has over 6,000 registered patients that receives monthly free routine drugs and the monies for such drugs comes from personal savings and donations from relatives and friends.
She commended the governors wife for the concern showed to sicklers by putting smiles on their faces. According to her, the patients of the Centre are the less privileged who can’t even afford the routine drugs, stressing that the routine drugs will certainly go a long way to assisting them.
On his part, Commissioner of Health, Dr. Paul Dogo assured sicklers in the state that they will not be left alone as government will embark on research, enlightenment and sensitization on sickle cell anaemia in order to reduce the trend.
Dr. Dogo who was represented by the Executive Secretary, Kaduna State Primary Healthcare Agency, Dr. Hadiza Balarabe said donation of the routine drugs by the governors wife is a wake-up call to concerned people of the state to emulate.