AFWN Founder Ms Ronke Ademuliyi is pleased to announce the Sickle Cell Foundation as our charity of choice to support for the 2nd year running. Our Global Goodwill Ambassador Ms Abiola Okoya further mentioned that we will continue to create more awareness and support for the Sickle Cell disorder by using the AFWN platform.
INTRODUCING SICKLE CELL FOUNDATION NIGERIA Many people are not aware that Nigeria is the country with the highest number of persons with sickle cell disorder in the world – over 150,000 babies are born with sickle cell anaemia (HbSS) every year in this country and Nigeria also has the largest pool of persons who are healthy carriers of the sickle cell gene (HbAS).
Nigeria should therefore be in the forefront of advancements in treatment and care and research for sickle cell. Sadly, this is not the case; the interventions that have been shown to improve the quality of life and longevity of people with sickle cell disorder have come from abroad; mostly from research funded and carried out in the United States of America.
There is a foundation in Nigeria that is not waiting for government to do everything and is poised to redress the afore-mentioned imbalance – this is the Sickle Cell Foundation Nigeria (SCFN). The SCFN is a not-for-profit non-governmental organisation (NGO) with impeccable reputation and integrity as attested to by the United Nations and the World Health Organisation. For several years now, this Foundation has been working tirelessly to bring succour and hope to patients with sickle cell disorder.
CURRENT FOCUS AND GOAL OF THE FOUNDATION
The focus now is to extend all the above services to all parts of Nigeria and beyond and also to develop and strengthen research and capacity building.
The goal is to see that eventually, sickle cell is no longer viewed as a death sentence, but will be regarded as a chronic illness like hypertension or diabetes, which, though not curable, are treatable conditions – and affected people can live long, productive lives.
To Africa Fashion Week Nigeria
“Regarding the selection of the Sickle Cell Foundation Nigeria (SCFN) as their charity of choice in 2015, I wish to express, on behalf of the board of directors of the SCFN and of all sickle cell affected persons and families, a sincere appreciation of the commitment of the African Fashion Week Nigeria to sickle cell disorder (SCD) in Nigeria. Discerning and well meaning Nigerians would be impressed by your choice as this should help increase awareness and vital education about SCD and of the work of the SCFN and hopefully, help raise funds needed to drive and sustain the activities of the Sickle Cell Foundation Nigeria.”
Professor Olu Akinyanju, OON (Chairman, SCFN)
Professor Olu Akinyanju, OON, MD, FRCP, FMCPath
Founder & Chairman, Sickle Cell Foundation Nigeria
Professor Akinyanju while at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital he created a Clinical Haematology Unit and a dedicated Sickle Cell Clinic to better attend to patients with blood disorders. His Doctor of Medicine thesis was on “Bacterial Infection in Sickle Cell Disease”. In 1984, he resuscitated the Sickle Cell Club Lagos and a year later, he was appointed Honorary Adviser to the WHO on Hereditary Haemoglobin Disorders. He subsequently attended numerous WHO meetings, study groups and delivered several papers at conferences. In 1991 he founded the Federation of Sickle Cell Clubs of Nigeria and in 1994 the Sickle Cell Foundation Nigeria (SCFN). The SCFN has established a National Sickle Cell Centre (the first comprehensive Sickle Cell Centre in Africa) opposite the Lagos University Teaching Hospital. In 2004, the World Health Organisation appointed him an Expert on the Panel of the Genomic Research Centre http://www.who.int/genomics/professionals/clinicalgeneticists/en/index2.html
He is a past President and now, a Trustee of the Nigerian Society for Haematology and Blood Transfusion and a past President of the Association of Physicians of Nigeria. He was honoured with the chieftaincy titles of Otun Are of Ife in 1986; the Ajiroba of Awe in 1994 and with a national honour as Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON) in 2006.
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