By Amina Yahaya
The Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, Senator George Akume has donated N2 million to LaGrace Sickle Cell Foundation to support its campaign against the disease. The minister made the donation at the fundraising ceremony of the foundation at Al-Amin International Schools, Maitama, Abuja, on Saturday.
Represented by the Dr. Lilian Ene Ogbole, the minister said he would also partner with the foundation in other ways to ensure it achieves its set goals. He acknowledged the menace of the sickle cell disease and assured that his ministry, whose functions cut across ministries, departments and agencies, will collaborate with the foundation in every possible way to eliminate the debilitating disease.
Also speaking at the event, the Magajin garin Sokoto, Alhaji Hassan Ahmed Danbaba, said he has lost three siblings to the disease and was moved to support the foundation to work hard and reduce the burden of the disease on families.
He announced himself as the ambassador of LaGrace, promising to offer financial and moral support, stressing that the disease can be avoided with the right information.
The Executive Director of the foundation, Abdul Abdulraziz, said he has lived with the disease for 25 years and because of what he has gone through, he wants to use the foundation to change the narrative about sickle cell disease in Nigeria. He lamented that the country has the highest number of those with the disease, which he said was unacceptable. He said the foundation will create awareness in rural areas and also pressure government to give attention to the disease just as it has given to other diseases.