IN her quest to establish sickle cell clinics in all the local government areas of Delta State, the wife of Delta State Governor, Dame Edith Okowa, yesterday commissioned the 11th sickle cell clinic in the state at the Issele-Uku General Hospital in Aniocha North Local Government Area of the state.
Similar projects had earlier been established and equipped in Agbor General Hospital, Oleh, Sapele, Patani, Koko, Otu-Jeremi and Orereokpe. The governor’s wife, who is the Founder of the 05 Initiative, said that sickle cell anemia is not a death sentence, rather ‘it is what anybody can manage very well throughout his/her lifetime.’
She said that sickle cell disorder ‘is a challenge, unlike every other sickness’ and thereby enjoined them not to allow the disorder to deprive them of achieving what they want to achieve in life.
While advising all to go for their genotype checkup before getting married to avoid stories that touch, she stressed the need for patients to drink plenty water, eat healthy food and take their drugs as prescribed by the doctor.
The governor’s wife who distributed mosquito net to each child that came for the occasion, thanked the great sons and daughters of Aniocha North who contributed to the success of establishing the clinic, saying that ‘it is one thing to have a dream, but another thing is to actualise the dream’ and noted that there is a reward for everyone that gives.
She advised the mothers of this group of children not to give up in taking adequate care of them, saying that ‘life is in the hand of God’ and thereby, encouraged parents to train their children in school, no matter the health challenge of that child.
The Commissioner for Health, Dr. Nicholas Azinge, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health Dr. (Mrs.) Minnie Osaji, who called on everyone who are aspiring to get married to ensure that they undergo all the necessary recommended tests and are properly counseled before they get married, also called on mothers of sickle cell children to bring them to the clinic for management.
Earlier, the focal person on health, Lady Lizzy Umukoro had advised all the sons and daughters of Aniocha North to utilize the facilities provided by the 05 Initiative.
A former member, House of Representatives, representing Aniocha Oshimili Federal Constituency, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu, the Chairman, Delta State Civil Service Commission, Dame Patience Okwuofu, and the member, Delta House of Assembly representing Aniocha North Local Government Area, Hon. (Engr.) Emeka Nwaobi, commended the governor’s wife for her unique initiative in the establishment and equipping the sickle cell clinic.
The occasion featured health talk on nutrition in the management of sickle cell disorder by Dr. Uche Okwe, medical laboratory in the management of sickle cell by Mr. Pedro Ohen, testimonies of the survival and success children and a playlet on how to eat a balanced diet to manage the sickle cell disorder.