…donates towards skill acquisition of APLSCD
By O’star Eze
Chief Ikenna Okafor, a business man and philanthropist has enjoined the federal government to consider subsidizing medical treatment of persons living with sickle cell disorder.
He said this during the 2019 thanksgiving service of Idi Ezeani Nzekwuabuo Foundation in Akwaeze, Anaocha LGA of Anambra State which hosted members of Association of People Living with Sickle Cell Disorder, APLSCD.
Chief Okafor opined that given the frequency of medical crisis amongst persons living with sickle cell disorder, as well the fact that their plight is not their fault but that of the society, persons living with sickle cell disorder should not be paying medical bills.
He observed that several sickle cell patients are stuck in and die in hospitals while others resort to self medication with its associated hazards because of the heavy medical bills their medical crisis tend to incur.
He then pledged to place the Association of People Living with Sickle Cell Disorder on annual N500,000 (Five hundred thousand naira) endowment fund through his foundation and donated 5 sewing machines, 5 weaving machines, 3 laptops to the association’s skill acquisition centre. Chief Okafor also pledged to continue supporting the activities of the association especially through ensuring more skill acquisition centres are established and equipped for the members and charged the association to ensure the items donated are made proper use of.
He then described APLSCD’s founder and president, Mrs Aisha Edward, as a firebrand and consistent sickle cell activist who has proven herself transparent and genuinely passion driven towards the eradication of the disorder and the improvement of the welfare of persons living with it.
“I have been following her activities for some years now and I can attest to the fact that she is sincerely passionate about eradicating sickle cell disorder and is transparent in her operation of the association. This is why I am confidently stretching out my arm of help to her and her association,” Chief Okafor said.
On her part, Dr Mrs Okafor, the wife gave free medical check up, drugs and first aid kits to members of the association through medical personnel from her Port Harcourt based medical centre; Sophike Medical Centre.
Appreciating Chief and Lolo Okafor, Mrs Aisha Edward disclosed that APLSCD has for the four years she piloted it, been able to achieve significant success in educating members of the public “especially the young and unmarried on the need to know their genotype and gender compatibility as a means to reducing the high rate of births of Sickle Cell Children.”
Edward however regretted that “Sickle Cell Patients across Anambra State and beyond have for long been traumatized and subjected to various degrees of exploitations and denials in the absence of a sickle cell law.”
She also disclosed that the organization has plans of producing a movie in partnership with well meaning individuals and organization which will go a long way in sensitizing the public beyond what the written materials which the organization had produced on the matter can achieve.
“We look forward to getting the attention of professionals in the movie industry to partner with us as their own contributions in the fight against Sickle Cell Anemia.
“This drama series will be premiered and aired in major television networks in Nigeria and beyond. African Magic, TVC, AIT and Social Media television are some of this television networks that will air the series.
“Our story line remains the fate of People living with Sickle Cell disorder in Contemporary Africa,” she said.
She appreciated the association’s chaplain, Rev. Fr. Barr. Obiora Okeke, who facilitated the partnership between the foundation and the association. Edward also pledged to continue to avail every opportunity to gain upper hand over the “deadly scourge; sickle cell disorder.”