Awka, the ANAMBRA state capital took her routine Saturday physical workout to another dimension on September 12, as Anambra Broadcasting Service Management led all the who's who in the state on a Walk in Honor of those living with Sickle Cell Disorder. The walk which was tagged 'ANAMBRA Walks to Life' commenced around 6:30am at ABS complex as the more than 500-man caravan comprising the state's Honourable Commissioner for Health, Dr Joe Akabuike, Mr Uche Nworah, the Managing Director of ABS, Hon. Pharm. Obinna Emenaka, honourable member of the state house of Assembly, members of ABS management crew and other media houses,
representatives from the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency,NDLEA, representatives of the wife of the governor and the Commissioner for women Affairs, an Ambulance, many members of the Red Cross and Federal Road Safety Commission took to the street bearing banners announcing the need to care for Sickle cell patients and prevent further production of Sickle Cell babies. The troupe went through Unizik- Arthur Eze Avenue, Eke Awka and through Jet Filling station and finally ended up at ABS complex for the ceremony proper.
In her speech, during the event, the Coordinator of Association of People Living with Sickle Cell Disorder, Ms Aisha Maureen Edward, expressed her delight at the honor being accorded sickle cell patients by the state, powered by ABS. She informed that the day's event was a climax to an awareness campaign she, through her association, initiated earlier in the year given the dismal way the issue of sickle cell disorder had hitherto been treated, not to talk of her observed fraudulent practices of NGOs who use the name of Sickle Cell to amass wealth for themselves. She used the medium to express her gratitude to the Bishop of Awka Catholic Diocese, Most Rev. Dr Paulinus Ezeokafor and the Bishop of Aguata Anglican Diocese, Most Revd. Christian Efobi for financially supporting the programme; the wife of the Executive Governor of ANAMBRA State, Chief  Mrs Ebelechukwu Obiano, for taking the lead in empowerment of sickle cell patients by assimilating 10 patients in the ongoing skill acquisition programme in the state; the Chairman, ANAMBRA State Local Government Service Commission, Dr P. Egenti, who pledged to create 21 job slots in the 21 local government secretariats of the state; the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria led by Pharm. Chisom, for pledging their unalloyed support to the Association and donating first aid kits and drugs to the Association; Dr Josephat Akabuike, for always being there for the Association; the NDLEA; Freshlife pure water and a host of other sponsors of the programme and the activities of the Association. She then called on all federal and state government personnel, religious bodies, the media and legislators, individuals and corporate bodies to continue with her in the fight to break the jinx of sickle cell scourge in the society to a conclusive end.
In his speech, the honourable commissioner for health, Dr Joseph at Akabuike shared his thoughts about the sickle cell situation, saying that he has observed that for health conditions like sickle cell disorder, there are people living with such conditions and people living ON those conditions; those who amass wealth for themselves using the name of such conditions. He registered his displeasure at individuals and bodies who engage in such inhuman acts while congratulating Ms Aisha Edward for her energetic approach toward the fight against the sickle cell scourge. He reassured the group that his ministry will continue to partner with them as they have made his job easier in that dimension.
Also noteworthy among the series of speeches rendered during the event was that of the Honourable member representing ANAMBRA West in the State House of Assembly, Hon. Pharm. Obinna Emenaka who observed with dismay that in this global world, people are still ignorant of their genotype and/or choose to outrightly ignore their genotype while matchmaking, in the name of 'blind love'. He then promised that he will seek out for the law which the state has made on sickle cell and ensure it is fully implemented. Hon. Obinna also added that, he would use the powers vested on the House of Assembly to investigate the purportedly fraudulent sickle cell NGOs in the state and bring any of them found wanting to book.
Climax of the event were the distribution of 57 First Aid Boxes and drugs, to the member of the Association, courtesy of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria; the touching presentation by a beauty Queen, Zamfara State's Miss Tourism who announced that she is a Sickle Cell patient but would rather prefer that she and her kind be addressed as Sickle Soldiers; the entertainment of more than 300 sickle cell patients in attendance by several musical artistes; a child prodigy and stand up comedians


Related Post