An Abuja based non-governmental organisation (NGO), Maidunama Sickle Cell Foundation(MAISCEF) has recently flagged of empowerment scheme for sickle cell warriors in Abuja with target of training 1000 warriors in various skills.
Speaking during the project launch, the founder of the organisations, Rabi Maidunama who explained that Sickle Cell Disorder(SCD) is an inherited form of anaemia, a condition in which there are not enough healthy red blood cells to transport adequate oxygen throughout the body which gives rise to many health challenges.
She said sickle cell awareness and advocacy has become imperative especially amongst intending couples to curb rise on sickle cell disorder as one in four Nigerians are either carriers or even living with sickle cell anemia bringing it to about 25 percent of the population.
Maidunama, a warrior herself who was motivated by the death of her sister to SCD and another living with the disorder to start up the foundation to assist warriors with free drugs expressed concern over plight of the less privileged living with SCD as someone from a privileged background who is faced with challenges everyday.
She lamented the descrimination warriors face in work place and neglect from loved ones and the society even as she stressed that their health condition usually results in loss of jobs which gave birth to the empowerment scheme project for self reliance.
Chief Operating Officer, Studio24 Nigeria, Edesua Henrietta Adeyemi while speaking on behalf of the company noted that as part of the company’s very strong values and social corporate responsibility they try to always make impact on society.
She disclosed that they will be training 20 warriors in photography and make-up for free as part of their support for the scheme.
Chief Executive Officer, Bio Scrubs Enterprise, Bolanle Oluchi Babalola, who has been volunteering with the foundation for over eight years and who would be training warriors on soap making pointed out that it is very impactful and different from awareness campaigns done earlier.
Food Production Facilitator, Nike Ojeh who would be training warriors on different food production, explained that the the training in about 10 food items which involves custard, milk, ketchup among others will help warriors be more self reliant.
A warrior, Mathew Stephen Ojonugwa, 26, lauded the MAISCEF for the initiative, adding that due to the health condition posed by SCD not all warriors are employable. The podcaster who is currently doing her youth service explained she takes her routine drugs everyday, avoids stress and take a lot of water to reduce incidences of crisis.
Another warrior and civil servant, Olasupo Munirat Olamide, 27, who decried the cost of living with SCD, pointed out that buying routine drugs can be expensive especially without support from any organisation, adding that monthly check ups and hospitalisation bills are a huge financial burden even as she commended the foundation for their efforts.