By Augustus Bill
it was a beehive of Spiritual Upliftment, Care, fulfillment and a sea of Love on the 12th of April 2018 at All Saints Fegge Onitsha Venue of the Methodist Church Annual Synod, as members of Association of Persons Living with Sickle Cell Disorder were paved the opportunity to a address and fellowshiped with the Methodist congregation.
In her address to the Synod, the Coordinator of the Association, Aisha Edward explained the efforts of the Association In sustaining a strong sensitization campaign for sickle cell disorder across the South East States. She said that genotype education was the last remedy for abating the disorder which is often caused by ignorance and a way of encouraging the society to desist from the constant negligence and stigmatization being meted on those living with Sickle Cell Disorder.
Aisha continued that the Church has a big role to play in Speaking up to the Government and ensuring that the sensitization message sinks in. According to her, the Church should also take up certain welfare responsibilities of catering for the less privileged among those living with this disorder, who in most cases are also members of their congregation. She charged the congregation to never relent in showing support and solidarity to the sickle cell Cause.
In his reactions Bishop BL Onugha, the Methodist Bishop of Onitsha Diocese Anambra State, agreed that the church must see it as very important that Sickle Cell is purged from the society by setting up Directorate for Genotype Education and also inculcating it into marriage Counselling and in their various missionary Schools. He promised that the Methodist Church of Nigeria shall see to it that the Sickle Cell Sensitization Campaigns continue vigorously across the Nation, especially in all Methodist Schools.
The Bishop applauded the efforts of Aisha Edward and the Association, praying them never to give up on the cause they’ve embarked on, while urging other members of the congregation to emulate the selfless passion being devoted by the Association in her sensitization campaigns and ensure in their various capacities that they support the cause.
The wife of the Bishop, Deaconess Mrs Comfort Onuagha Was not left out of the reactions, as she joined her husband in applauding the Association for her efforts, and Promised to support the cause in any possible way she can, especially in the area of welfare. She also Promised that the Association shall be invited to most Big events of the Church so that they can share the Sensitization message to other congregation of the Methodist Church.
Aisha Edward, appreciated the Church for the opportunity, given to her and the Association, as she said it was another milestone of achievement recorded by the Association in her sensitization campaigns.
In the same vein, Aisha Edward was also with the Committee of The Human Rights Defenders, an NGO that seeks to protect the Human Rights of citizens in Nigeria. While speaking at the brief meeting, Aisha explained that rights of persons living with Sickle Cell Disorder has constantly been trampled on and actions needed to be taken to ensure that their rights are protected.
She enjoined the Group to support the Association in realizing her goals, as the Association only run to Rev. Fr. Obiora Okeke Esq. for legal advice and support when their rights are affected. She said that with the support of the Human Rights Defenders group a lot can be achieved in terms of protecting the rights of persons living with sickle cell disorder from being violated.