As the World marks the World Sickle Cell Day, a Non-Governmental Organization, Samira Sanusi Sickle Cell (SSSC) Foundation together with The Nigerian Writers’ Award, carried out a free genotype counselling to Internally Displaced Persons at the Area 1 camp, in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.
The gesture which is tagged “I KNOW MY GENOTYPE” initiative is a sickle cell awareness campaign to commemorate the World Sickle Cell Day.
Founder of the SSSC Foundation, Mrs Samira Haruna Sanusi told Voice of Nigeria that the visit to the IDPs is not only to create awareness on the deadly disease but also to show love to those with the disease “as they go through pains that only them can describe.”
She added that the aim of genotype testing and counselling is to help save the future generation by making people know their genotype and as well as compatibility before choosing a partner.
She said “Forty three people, settlers from Gwoza and Bama were tested a few months ago. So, we delivered their test results and had a counselling session for them.
About 500 people were counselled after which they gave their details and signed forms. This is to allow the foundation test them and their children at a later date. They also identified Sickle Cell Warriors among them who will now be beneficiaries of SSSCF and receive aid and support from us.”
Other activities during the visit included Genotype testing, counselling, distribution of relief materials to the IDPs and presentation of results to those that got tested during their previous visit.
The foundation said that they are aim to revisit the camp in September.
The World Sickle Cell Awareness Day is marked globally every June 19th in order to help increase public knowledge as well as raise awareness of the disease.