In a bid to salvage the painful situation of persons living with sickle cell disorder and remedy the proliferation of the disorder in the country, Jennifer Okorie Foundation has begun a Nationwide Outreach on genotype education to sensitize students on the essence of knowing their genotype and the consequences of their ignorance.
The Nationwide campaign began in Ebonyi State Nigeria, where the foundation in collaboration of with the Ebonyi State Ministry of Education gathered 300 students from over 31 secondary schools in the state for a sickle cell anemia sensitization programe titled “Genotype Before Yes”.
The program, which was organized to mark 2017 World Sickle Cell Day in June was held at the Ebonyi State Women Development Centre, and attracted lots of resource persons who educated the students on the essence of knowing their genotype and that of their friends before accepting to any kind of relationship proposal. Prominent on the list of resource persons were Aisha Edward, the National Coordinator of Association of Persons Living with Sickle Cell Disorder, who admonished the students to veer clear from the ignorance of love is blind, and ensure that they are aware of their genotype before making any commitment, so as to avoid procreating offspring that will have the anemia.
In her words, Jennifer Nkiruka Okorie, the CEO and Founder of the Foundation said it was the foundation’s desire to see that every African Child achieves her goals and dreams in live, and the Foundation is birthed with the resolve to seeing that limitations to these dreams are averted. Thus, prompting the Sickle Cell Awareness Campaign tagged “Genotype Before Yes”.
The Ebonyi State Commissioner of Education, Prof. John Eke, who represented the Ebonyi State Governor, thanked the foundation for choosing Ebonyi State as the flag off state for the worthy campaign. He said that the Governor is moved by innovations would be glad to partner with the foundation in ensuring that this message cuts across the society.
Track Media Enterprise, the project management company for the project, said the Ebonyi Edition was the beginning of many editions to cut across different states of the country, as the project was initiated to run from June 2017 to June 2018, with a possible view to extending the timeline, pending on the level of success attained in pursuit of the goals of the project.
Highlights of the event was the presentation of Jennifer Okorie Humanitarian Service Award to Aisha Edward, Sen. Sam Egwu, Chief Mrs. Rachel Umahi, wife of the Ebonyi State Governor and other receipients that have contributed immensely in the fight against sickle cell anaemia in the country.
The event was graced by His Excellency, Engr. Dave Umahi, Executive Governor of Ebonyi State who was represented by his Commissioner of Education, Prof. John Eke, and Aisha Edward, National Coordinator APLSCD. Also present were Ebonyi State Permanent Secretary of Education and Dr. Nmachi of Ebonyi State University Teaching Hospital.