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  • News - South West - Ekiti
  • Updated: June 21, 2024

NGO launches Warriors Club in Ekiti to tackle sickle cell

NGO launches Warriors Club in Ekiti to tackle sickle cell

An alarm has been raised over the high rate of sickle cell anaemia in Nigeria.

The alarm was raised by a non-governmental organisation, Ayomide Olanipekun Initiative, AOI during the launch of ‘Warrior Club Nigeria’, an association that will cater for the needs of people suffering from sickle cell anaemia in Ekiti State.

While insisting that the disease is not a death sentence.

The Director of the Initiative, Dr Ayomide Olanipekun said the government’s efforts are underrated as a result of people’s negligence to programmes which can treat the disease effectively.

Ayomide said the purpose of the launching was to commemorate the 2024 World Sickle Cell Day themed ‘Hope Through Progress: Advancing Care Globally’.

She noted that sickle cell disease is not a death sentence but a challenge that can be overcome through medication, proper monitoring, and non-stigmatisation.

While celebrating sickle cell warriors in the state, she urged them to enrol in a health insurance scheme for free treatment.

According to her, “Our sickle cell warriors should come out and enrol in the health insurance scheme. Nigeria has the highest burden of sickle cell in the world and the government is doing little about it and it’s because the people in question are not coming out.

“But if they come out and share their stories with people, they will be treated and not be stigmatised.

“Today is World Sickle Cell Day and we are celebrating our sickle cell warriors in Ekiti state. We are also celebrating our voluntary blood donor.

“Today, we are launching Warriors Club of Nigeria which is a support club for the warriors in the state so that they can have a shoulder to lean on whenever they are in problem.

“This club will enable them to give each other strength and uphold them for a better future.”

She hailed the state governor, Biodun Oyebanji for capturing sickle cell warriors in the Ekiti Health Insurance scheme.

This according to her, will enable them to have free access to healthcare facilities and enjoy all health benefits channelled to the scheme.

In his remark, the Ekiti state commissioner for health, Dr Filani Oyebanji hailed the initiative for bringing up such a programme, adding that the state’s ministry of health is thriving to make life easy and better for sickle cell warriors in the state.

Filani, represented by Olumide Obe maintained that the disease is not a death sentence, hence the need for them to enrol on a health insurance scheme in the state.

The general manager of Ekiti State health insurance scheme, Charles Doherty said no fewer than 400 sickle cell warriors have registered under the scheme since 2023 and have been receiving treatment for free.

“We have a program called basic health care provision fund which targets some certain set of people, under 5, pregnant women, people living with disabilities, and the governor had graciously included sickle cell warriors into the scheme.

“The scheme enrols them and gives them free treatment. In our archive and enrollment list, nothing less than 400 sickle cell warriors have registered under the scheme,” he said.

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