NYSC partners with foundation to combat sickle cell
The Sickle Cell Hope Alive Foundation (SCHAF) on Thursday said it has partnered with the National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) to fight sickle cell in the country.
Prof. Adeyinka Falusi, the President of the foundation, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ibadan.
Falusi said that the foundation was forging collaboration with NYSC as part of efforts to promote awareness and education on preventive approach to the disease.
“The objective of NYSC is to inculcate in Nigerian youths the spirit of selfless service to the community.
“The corp members are distributed nationwide and SCHAF is initiating a partnership with the NYSC to serve as a vehicle of Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) prevention.
“Through this collaboration with NYSC, a larger population of rural dwellers will be reached with an ultimate reduction in the prevalence of SCD in Nigeria,” Falusi said.
According to her, about 80 per cent of Nigerians live in rural communities without access to appropriate healthcare not to talk of understanding the concept of SCD control.
Falusi said that the SCHAF-NYSC rural initiative is a platform for young people to make informed decisions in their future marriage partners.
“Corp members will be trained to create awareness on SCD control at the grassroots while screening youths to establish their genotypes.
“The initiative will also facilitate the Know Your Genotype (KYG) clubs in schools and provide opportunities for genetic counselling.
“This will enhance more people knowing the difference between genotypes and blood group and choices that promote the disease prevention,” she said.
According to Falusi, the foundation already organised a pilot programme in September 2015 in Oyo state to test the initiative.
“The expected outcome is to extend this to other states; increase awareness and education for genotype screening; reduction of stigmatisation and improved medical care at the grassroots,” she said.
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