By Basil K Mbuye
People living with Sickle Cell and their families were on June 19, educated on how to deal with the disease.
This was during a workshop in Buea organised by the Jackson Sickle Cell Foundation. The workshop, which was aimed at creating awareness amongst those living with the disease alongside their families, was part of activities to mark the World Sickle Cell Day on June 19.
Sickle Cell Disease, according to medics, can cause episodes of severe pain known as ‘crises’ which require hospital treatment and can even cause death if the right care is not given.
Speaking at the event, Dr. Peter Nde Fon, CEO of Solidarity Clinic, applauded the initiative and said creating awareness of the Sickle Cell condition is a laudable initiative. He called on the public not to stigmatise those suffering from the disease. According to him, those suffering from the disease are like other normal human beings.
To Sickle Cell patients, the Medic advised them to drink a lot of water, eat balance diet, avoid alcohol, smoking among others in other to remain healthy and avoid crisis.
Going by him, it is only through better management of the disease that patients suffering from it can avoid crisis and live longer.
He further warned that those suffering from Sickle Cell should not get married because they might give birth to children who are carriers of Sickle Cell.
Speaking after the workshop, Barrister Felix Agbor Balla , Executive Director of the Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Africa, said he was very happy to be part of such an initiative organised by the Jackson Sickle Cell Foundation.
According to him, “it is a very touching event. Human right is not only civil and political, it is also economic, social and cultural also…I was very happy to partner with the foundation because it is doing a wonderful job to ensure that they support Sickle Cell patients and their families going through this pain. As partners, we have assured them that every month we will chip in something alongside the foundation to assist the families and kids of those suffering from Sickle Cell”.
On her part, Nicoline Ekei Neba, Coordinator of Jackson Sickle Cell Foundation, said the reason for the workshop was to educate, create awareness and also to give free medications to those living with the Sickle Cell disease.
“The rationale of this workshop was to create awareness, educate and give free medication to the “warriors”. Through this, lives will be saved. We had to create awareness because since there isn’t any cure for the disease, awareness is cure.”
In other to see that this is achieved, warriors in Buea will be given free medication and lectures by the Jackson Sickle Cell Foundation on how to deal with the Sickle cell condition.
Founded in 2017 by Kuna Sikod, the Jackson Sickle Cell Foundation aims at helping, encouraging and educating those living with Sickle Cell Disease in Cameroon.