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World Sickle Cell Day: KESCA to empower 2,000 members



World Sickle Cell Day: KESCA to empower 2,000 members

The Kebbi State Sickle Cell Association (KESCA) has stepped up efforts to mitigate the economic and financial burden of 2,000 members in the state.

The Coordinator of the association, Hajiya Khadija Yahaya-Shantali, made this known at an event to mark the 2021 World Sickle Cell Day in Birnin Kebbi on Saturday.

Annually marked on June 19 around the globe, the World Sickle Cell Day is aimed at raising awareness on the disorders, challenges suffered by people living with the disease, as well as offer solutions to its cure and management.

The day has “Shine The Light on Sickle Cell” as its theme for 2021.

Sickle Cell Disorders (SCD) are a group of illnesses which affect red blood cells, a genetic condition that is passed on from parents, not from other people.

In broad sense, the term “genotype” refers to the genetic makeup of an organism; in other words, it describes an organism’s complete set of genes.

It also refers to the hemoglobin gene constituents on the red blood cells known as AA, AS, AC and SS.
She association coordinator said the group was aware that Sickle Cell Disorder (SCD) add to the emotional, economic and financial stress of parents and siblings of patients.

She added that “in this regard, KESCA has stepped up its humanitarian and non-governmental efforts to mitigate the sufferings of 2,000 registered members from economic and financial burden of the disorder.

“With the economic situation in the country, even normal individuals are facing a lot of problems financially and otherwise.

“There is always a choice in the home between buying food or drugs for the sickle cell child.”

According to Yahaya-Shantali, the association has programmes in 2021 to assist SCD patients in the state.

She added that “we are going to look at members that have existing businesses but with limited capital; to empower them to boost their businesses.

“We are all going to look at our members who are into cosmetology, juice making, cake making, animal fattening and poultry.

“We are also going to provide skill acquisition training to our members that need skills on computer, art and craft, agriculture, tailoring, food management and restaurant management, among others.”

She expressed optimism that the assistance would go a long way in helping them to find means of livelihood to fend for themselves and finance their routine medication.

“The expectation is that by next year, 50 per cent of our members will be empowered economically and financially.

“We are now into collaboration with Khadimiyya for Social Justice Initiative Foundation to ensure more members of KESCA are assisted in anyway possible,” she said.

She appealed to the state government to ensure the protection of children and individuals living with SCD, by ensuring the state passed a sickle cell law.

The coordinator thanked individuals and the KESCA team for the gesture.

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