Jubilation in Anambra as Senator Ifeanyi Ubah’s bill for the establishment of National Centre for Sickle Cell Anaemia Research and Treatment in Aguata passes 1st reading

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Senator Ubah wrote:

“Sometimes people never believe in a vision because the beginning of the journey is always difficult. However, I am focused and unfazed by these doubts as I have always seen obstacles as a step-tool that can be transformed into opportunities for achieving greatness. I have faith that my vision for a better tomorrow will materialize because no task is ever impossible to accomplish, and the end as they say, justifies the means”

To God be the glory, in line with my frontline mission to ameliorate the plight of people living with Sickle Cell Disease, yesterday being Thursday, July 23,2020, I sponsored a bill to establish the National Centre for Sickle Cell Anaemia Research and Treatment, Aguata on the floor of the Senate.

Sickle Cell Disease is one of the most common genetic diseases worldwide with a high prevalence rate in Nigeria. Presently, there is a palpable absence of well funded and dedicated Sickle Cell Anemia research and treatment Centers in Nigeria which has made it difficult to keep abreast of current research knowledge and health related practices for the treatment of Sickle Cell Anemia Disease.

The purpose of this bill is to create an institution that will work for the improvement of the quality of health, life, families and communities affected by Sickle Cell Anemia Disease while promoting research for the Sickle Cell Anemia Disease. The institution will be saddled with a constitutional mandate of funding research for current treatment guidelines, practice challenges and recommendations for improved care of people living with Sickle Cell Anemia Disease.

The establishment of this Sickle Cell Research and Treatment Centre will be a big relief to the Coordinator of Association of Persons Living with Sickle Cell Disorder (APLSCD); Mrs Aisha Edwards Mmaduagwu who has been on the forefront of championing the well-being of people living with Sickle Cell. It is sad to note that during the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization lost 5 members. Presently, they have set up a vocational center in Nanka, Orumba North and will be launching the first Central Sickle Cell Orphanage and Underprivileged Home in Agulu, Anambra State on August 7, 2020.

Upon establishment, the National Centre for Sickle Cell Anaemia Research and Treatment, Aguata will consist of academicians and researchers saddled with the task of collaborative research with a special focus on the molecular biology and genetics of Sickle Cell Anemia Disease. This center will help understand Sickle Cell Anemia risk factors, treatment options as well as provide leadership on a national level to create awareness of the negative impact of sickle cell disease on the health, economic and social well-being of individuals.

As the Nigerian Senate has embarked on annual recess; in the coming weeks, I will be visiting my constituency to inspect ongoing projects that will be a tool for employment and as well, attract Federal Government presence to my constituency. I am therefore calling on all people of goodwill to join hands with me as we gallantly embark on this journey of creating a better Anambra South.

Conclusively, it is my utmost belief that this establishment bill will be of immense public health value to our country as the National Centre for Sickle Cell Anaemia Research and Treatment, Aguata will institute appropriate interventions to reduce stigmatization of those affected, improve the quality of life of people living with the disease through quality policies that will scale up awareness creation as well as reduce disinformation about the disease in our country. Subsequently, the bill will be read the second time and recommended to the relevant committee for further legislative action.

May God bless us all as I remain committed to engendering a better Anambra South where people can thrive and achieve their full potentials irrespective of health challenges, gender or background.

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