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As part of activities to mark the World Sickle Cell Day (WSCD), the Brain and Body Foundation (www.brainandbodyfoundation.org) hosted an outreach for sickle cell disease patients. People from all over the Federal Capital Territory of different ages and economic backgrounds attended to benefit from the program which was jointly organized by the Brain and Body Foundation, The Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH), and Nigerians in Diaspora, Washington D.C. Chapter (NIDO-DC).

 

CNBC Africa called in from South Africa for a phone interview with Dr. David Ajibade, founder and executive director of BBF during the event. Reporters and camera crew from Nigeria’s top four TV Stations – Channels Television, Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Africa Independent Television (AIT), and TVC News – were all in attendance to cover the event (COVID-19 guidelines on social distancing, as stated by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, were strictly followed).

 

Refreshments and facemasks were also provided for attendees.

The special guest of honor was the Special Assistant to the President on Non-governmental Organization (NGO) Matters, Dr. Wole Aboderin, who represented the First Lady of the Nation.

In his address, he expressed the First Lady’s surprise at seeing the statistics associated with sickle cell disease, which include:

  1. Nigeria is home to over 20% of all sickle cell patients in the world.
  2. Over 150,000 children with sickle cell disease are born each year in Nigeria.
  3. 50-75% of children living with Sickle Cell Disease in Nigeria will not live to see their fifth birthday, with the “lucky” few having to live with constant pain, suffering, and eventually dying prematurely, due to frequent crises and complications of the disease.
  4. Over 10% of children with sickle cell disease suffer from strokes, with a peak incidence being between the ages of two and 16 years.

He was also impressed at seeing the turnout of participants for the outreach, among whom were current beneficiaries of the Brain and Body Foundation. The highlight of the event was when parents and patients got to have individual consultations with Dr. David Ajibade, after which they were all given bottles of specific nutritional supplements free of charge (each bottle being worth at least 45,000 naira).

Some of the parents who had ailments were also attended to free of charge.

 

Some of the testimonials given by already existing beneficiaries of the Foundation included the following:

  1. Happiness Ezekiel: Prior to her visit to the Brain and Body Foundation, she experienced constant bone pains, fatigue, and sleepless nights, but after taking supplements provided by the foundation, the pains subsided and she slept better than before.

Happiness Ezekiel Interview

 

  1. Mrs. Salami: Her grandson, who was not able to stand up straight before attending the centre, now had better cognition as a result of taking supplements provided by the foundation.

Mrs. Salami Interview

We wish to thank the following for their immeasurable support, which was vital for the successful organization and execution of this project:

 

Aroga Ltd.:
We thank Aroga for the immune support and endocrine support supplements. The immune support supplement has been significantly helpful in that it has strengthened the immune systems of these patients. This has significantly reduced crisis frequency and severity; including the discomfort (pain, fatigue, sleeplessness, e.t.c.) experienced in between crises. Beneficiaries now function better at school; they no longer have to miss classes, nor experience fatigue. For those with severe bone pains and possible damage to the bones and joints, we have seen improvements upon administering the endocrine support. We have also had positive reports from patients who have had strokes. This is due to the combination of the brain and nerve, endocrine, and immune support supplements. Finally, the gastrointestinal support has helped sickle cell disease patients who previously experienced severe stomach pains.

 

Federal Ministry of Health: We wish to thank the Federal Ministry of Health for their invaluable endorsement, support, and willingness to collaborate with us in these projects, including their assistance with publicity.

Nigerians in Diaspora Organization (NIDO): Special thanks to NIDO for their support in organizing the event, and for the financial assistance, which helped in no small way in the execution of some of the projects.

We appreciate you all for your invaluable support in making this possible.