By Augustus Bill
Association of People Living with Sickle Cell Disorder recorded yet another breakthrough in their media sensitization campaign, as they were live at Blaze 91.5FM to shade more light on their disorder and the peculiarities of its management.
Aisha Edward, the coordinator of APLSCD, who was the Guest on ISSUES, a phone in program of Blaze FM, highlighted her purpose and sojourn in initiating the advocacy group, which she said was born out of the passion to fend for her kind who she felt were being grossly, discriminated, stigmatised and neglected by the society. According to her, starting a sickle cell Association was the only way they could have a voice, as an association of that kind where every member is a victim of the disorder, would avail them opportunities on how to make welfare better for themselves.
She blamed the proliferation of the disorder in the country due to high rate of illicit sex and sheer ignorance of couples who rather believe in the scrupulous miracles of the prophets that assure them that the disorder of the DNA could be changed. These couples, according to her, forge genotype test results just to get married, and always end up with a sickle cell child whom they turn to label a product of witchcraft and other evil means, not remembering that the disorder could have been averted if they followed the guide of the Genotype results and heeded to genotype compatibility before marriage.
Aisha, in responding to a question from one of the audience who was following the program online, confirmed that she believed in miracles, and God has given mankind the biggest miracle of Genotype test to be able to detect compatible and incompatible genotypes. She said any miracle farther from that is mere Daring God. “If you have AS and go ahead marrying someone with AS, and hoping for miracle, then you are only challenging God who gave you the initial miracle of detecting incompatibilities through genotype tests” she concluded.
The phone in program availed listeners the opportunity to voice In their opinions. One Chima who had called in from Imo, had narrated how he lost a sister to the disorder, and how a Doctor faked his Genotype result and now has a sickle cell child. This, Aisha frowned heavily at, as she said that it should be unheard of that someone in the medical line could try such knowing the implications.
Chima’s revelation further buttressed the facts laid by Aisha, who said that there were many stakeholders who were benefitting heavily from the disorder, and these stakeholders ranging from the NGOs that go ahead collecting charity funds on behalf of the Sicklers, but end up giving the victims only folic acid, Some Pharmacists who wish that the victims get addicted to their pain relief drugs so there could be huge sales, Some Doctors who wish that the victims have continuous crisis that would keep them in hospitals, thus accruing wealth for them, Some Churches who wish that you will be psychological vulnerable to their miracles thereby sowing Seed of faith for healing, Some Government officials who will divert the budgets map out for the victims and many others.
Other callers and listeners who had followed the hour program on various social media platforms, Acknowledged the facts laid by the Coordinator, urging the Association to never relent in her fight as it was a cause to be identified with.
In her conclusion, Aisha sternly pointed out that there is yet to be a treatment for the disorder, as it could only be managed, and she advised that proper psychological and emotional management, Clean environment, basic nutrition, Avoidance of Stressful activities and regular intake of water are best chances of keeping a sickle cell victim out of crisis. She also highlighted the achievements of the Association in the welfare of sickle cell victims, which include but not limited to Payment of School fees, empowerment packages, and health management, which they achieve through their newly built Sickle Cell Specialist Clinic at Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Ukpo, courtesy of Prince Engr. Arthur Eze who financed the project.
Activities of the Association as explained by the coordinator can be assessed on their new website. WWW.APLSCD.ORG , and members and their various empowerment packages are listed on the website.