Nigeria, November 20, 2015, (Blank NEWS Online) –
True to her promise to replicate the 05 Initiative project in all Central Hospitals in Delta state, Her Excellency, Dame Mrs. Edith Okowa has formally commissioned the Sickle Cell Clinic at the Central Hospital, Ughelli.
Shortly after the commissioning, Dame Okowa who is also the founder of the 05 Initiative inspected the various equipment in the laboratory amid jubilation from the people who came out enmasse to show appreciation.
In her address, Dame Okowa who is also the founder of the 05 Initiative expressed confidence that the challenges posed by sickle cell disorder would soon be a thing of the past, considering the successes recorded so far by the 05 Initiative.
While insisting that medication is free at the established centres, inspite of the cost of drugs and equipment, she encouraged Deltans, irrespective of their positions, especially elected officials and political appointees to join hands with the 05 Initiative to bring sucour to carriers of sickle cell anaemia through effective, intensive medical treatment, advocacy and enlightenment campaigns.
She said the project is not political but an offshoot of the prosperity agenda of the Governor Ifeanyi Okowa administration, assuring that it would be replicated in all the Central Hospitals in Delta state for the good of all Deltans.
Earlier in her welcome speech, Director General of the 05 Initiative, Mrs. Oghenekevwe Agas, who explained that the project is like the “heart beat” of Her Excellency, Dame Mrs. Edith Okowa, encouraged parents to always visit nearby hospitals as soon as they notice any disorder in their children and wards.
She said the aim of the 05 Initiative to establish a one-stop Sickle Cell Clinic at all Central Hospitals in the state has been achieved with the establishment of the clinic at the Central Hospital, Ughelli, shortly after the flag-off at the Central Hospital, Agbor.
The Delta state Commisioner for Health, Dr. Nicholas Azinge thanked the founder of 05 Initiative and her team for giving hope to people with Sickle cell disorder, adding that the Ministry of Health would provide all needed support to make the programmme a huge success.
During his presentation titled Living With Sickle Cell, Dr. Vincent Ofuonye, disclosed that the systemic approach by the 05 Initiative in tackling the prevalence of Sickle cell anaemia is yielding positive results, as sufferers who were hitherto stigmatized are undergoing useful counselling. He however disclosed that there is cure for Sickle cell anaemia through bone marrow transplant in children and gene therapy.
On his part, Dr. Patrick Omu while presenting a slideshow titled Sickle Cell Disease in Pregnant Women, encouraged women with the disorder to always undergo medical check-up to curtail high risk associated with delivery during pregnancy.
Justice Excell Timi, who called on carriers to ignore societal acclamations to the disorder, revealed that she was diagnosed of having sickle cell while she was eleven years, but had remained steadfast to her faith and determination to succeed in life.
She therefore advised carriers to always consult only professional medical personnel to stay fit and healthy.
For Hon. Samuel Marierie (Ughelli North I) and -Hon. Eric Oharisi (Ughelli North II) both members of the Delta State House of Assembly, the project would be given its due attention by complementing the initiative of the Her Excellency, Dame Okowa through the provision of medical equipment at the hospital.
Highlight of the event was songs and drama presentations by children and members of the Sickle Cell Club.
Recall that the inaugural flag-off of the project, aimed at bringing sucour to carriers of sickle cell anaemia through efffective and intensive medical treatment and enlightenment the flag-of of the children sickle cell unit at the Central Hospital, Agbor on Monday, September 21, 2015.
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