By G9ija

The SOM SICKLE CELL FOUNDATION in collaboration with Yakubu Gowon Centre will on November 29, 2022 hold the first National Dialogue with the theme: “Better Life for Persons Living with Sickle Cell Disorder.”

This was contained in a statement by the Chief Executive of SOM SICKLE CELL FOUNDATION, Shehu Olaitan Mohammed.

The Dialogue is part of its public engagement and advocacy initiative to raise more awareness about sickle cell disorder and call attention of various stakeholders to the need to curb the menace of the disorder in the society, considering the fact that Nigeria has the highest rate of the prevalence of the disorder in the world.

According to Mohammed, the event, slated for Merit House in Maitama, Abuja, would have the Minister of Health, Prof. Osagie Ehanire, and Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen, as Special Guests of Honour, while Professor Aisha Indo Mamman, a Consultant Heamatologist, ABUTH, Zaria, Kaduna State, will be the Keynote Speaker.

Other speakers slated for the event are Prof. Muhammed Nasir Sambo, DG/CEO National Health Insurance Authority; Dr. Olusegun Shoyombe, Consultant Psychiatrist, National Hospital, Abuja; Pharmacist Zainab Ujudud Sheriff, Director Traditional Complementary and Alternative Medicine Department, Federal Ministry of Health, Abuja; and Hauwa Usman Sani, Sickle Cell Warrior and Advocate Founder, Strong Cell SCF.

The Chairman of the occasion is former Governor of Kaduna State, Alhaji Ahmed Mohammed Makarfi, while other Special Guests of Honour include the President of the National Council of Women Society, Hajiya Lami Adamu Lau.

The Royal Father of the day is His Royal Highness, Alhaji Usman Nga Kupi, the Sapayi of Garki.

Other expected dignitaries include Alhaji Isiaq Ajibola, former MD of Daily Trust newspaper, and Alhaji Abubakar Mustapha Dangi, the Sarkin Dawakin Nupe.

Other side attractions at the event would be free genotype testing and free distribution of drugs and books on sickle cell disorder.

The flagship intervention activity of the foundation is the free enrolment of 100 indigent sickle cell patients on the NHIS, with the enrollees selected from all over the country.

It would be recalled that 56-year-old Mohammed, a Chartered Accountant, had on June 19, 2021 presented to the public his book on Sickle Cell Disorder in Abuja.

The book is entitled: “I’m a Survivor: The story of my triumph over sickle cell pain.”

SOM SICKLE CELL FOUNDATION, based in Abuja, which mission is enhancing the total well-being of the sickle cell patient, was founded by Mohammed, who himself is a sickle cell survivor.