The Sickle Cell Aid Foundation (SCAF) has been holding awareness programmes, which is part of its annual series of events to mark World Sickle Cell Day 2017. This year’s activities were centred on two themes. In Abuja, “Honouring our fallen soldiers” to remember our members that have passed away. In Lagos, “Break the Sickle Cell Silence” to end the stigma and encourage people living with sickle cell to disregard any shame they feel. SCAF kicked off the month long activities on June 10 with “a know your genotype” campaign at the Obstetrics and Gynaecologist Day at the RCCG Church in lkoyi. “We tested 266 women and children and also counselled them on Sickle Cell Disease (SCD).”
On June 14, SCAF collaborated with the Tender Arts Foundation to work with kids living with SCD on their art for healing programme at the Sickle Cell Foundation Centre in Idi – Arabia, Lagos. This teaches children living with SCD about how to express their emotions through art and is proven to help pyschological wellbeing.
The 17th saw the annual SCAF awareness walk, which took place simultaneously in Abuja and Lagos. In Lagos, SCAF walked with the coalition of SCD NGO’s who spoke with one voice for the improvement of healthcare and greater awareness. In Abuja, it took off at Eko Atlantic around Victoria Island. On the 21st, SCAF had its maiden prize giving ceremony and symposium for 15 secondary schools in Abuja that took part in its essay competition.
The theme of the essay was “Using technology for health Innovation”. The Symposium saw an array of young entrepreneurs share their experience of how the students can channel the use of tech to solve pressing problems. The Clinical Revamp Health Education Fair took place on the 24th of June in Lagos with the focus on Hope for the future of sickle cell. It featured free medical screening; genotype testing, counselling, and saw Haima Health carry out a blood drive. It took place at the Hoares Memorial Methodist Cathedral Youth Center, Herbert Macaulay Road, Sabo, Yaba from 11am.
The final event to round up the month would be the Maggie Olele and SCAF art fundraiser scheduled at the Red Door Gallery, Victoria Island, Lagos from 12pm on Friday June 30. It would feature stunning paintings, sculptures, metal works, and photography for sale and auction to raise funds for SCAF’s activities. It would also include poetry, music, cocktails and short films on sickle cell.