Adebayo Adenrele

over 400 sickle cell warriors registered, says Ekiti Health Insurance

A nongovernmental organisation known as Ayomide Olanipekun Initiative, on Wednesday expressed concern over the increasing rate of sickle cell anemia in Nigeria, calling on government at all level to facilitate patients free access to heath care facilities.

Speaking with journalists in Ado-Ekiti, the director of the Initiative, Dr Ayomide Olanipekun said the intervention by the government will go a long in saving lives and creating an enabling environment for people suffering from the disease.

The Initiative also launched ‘Warrior Club Nigeria’, an association that will cater for the need of people suffering from sickle cell anemia in Ekiti state.

Dr Ayomide said the purpose of the launching was also to commemorate 2024 World Sickle Cell day themed ‘Hope Through Progress: Advancing Care Globally’.

She noted that sickle cell disease is not a death sentence but a challenge that can be overcome through medication, proper monitoring, and non-stigmatization.

She said, “Today is World Sickle cell day and we are celebrating our sickle cell warriors in Ekiti state. We are also celebrating our voluntary blood donor.

“Our sickle cell warriors should come out and enrol in the health insurance scheme. Nigeria has the highest burden of sickle cell in the world and the government is doing little about it and it’s because the people in question are not coming out.

“But if they come out and share their stories with people, they will be treated and not be stigmatized.

“Today, we are launching Warriors Club of Nigeria which is a support club for the warriors in the state so that they  can have a shoulder to lean on whenever they are in problem.

“This club will enable them to give each other strength and uphold them for a better future”.

She hailed the state governor, Governor Abiodun Oyebanji for capturing sickle cell warriors in Ekiti Health insurance scheme.

This according to her, will enable them to have free access to health care facilities and enjoy all health benefits channeled to the scheme.

In his remark, the Ekiti state commissioner for health, Dr Filani Oyebanji hailed the initiative for bringing up such program, adding that the state’s ministry of health is thriving to make life easy and better for sickle cell warriors in the state.

Filani, represented by Olumide Obe maintained that the disease is not a death sentence, hence the need for them to enrol into health insurance scheme in the state.

Also, the general manager of Ekiti state Health Insurance scheme, Charles Doherty said no fewer than 400 sickle cell warriors have registered under the scheme since 2023 and have been receiving treatment for free.

“We have a program called basic health care provision fund which target some certain set of people, under 5, pregnant women, people living with disabilities, and the governor had graciously included sickle cell warriors into the scheme.

“The scheme enroll them and give them free treatment.In our archive and enrollment list, nothing less than 400 sickle cell warriors have registered under the scheme”. He said