Sickle Cell Awareness: Group organises blood donation drive


By Ifeanyi Nwoko
Abuja, Sept. 15, 2020 A group of young professionals in politics and governance on Tuesday organised a blood donation drive to draw attention to its importance in saving lives of those with anaemia.

The event organised in partnership with the National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS), was to raise awareness on sickle cell disease, Olu Onemola, one of the organisers told newsmen in Abuja.

Onemola, a former Special Assistant on New Media to the former President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, said that such initiatives are necessary to enlighten people that donating blood helps to save lives.

NAN reports that the group is made up of individuals of like minds who were either past or present Special Assistants to top politicians.

According to him, the outreach tagged “Blood Drive at the CANS,” seeks to educate participants on the importance of donating blood and raising awareness on sickle cell disease.

“A lot of Nigerians do not know that the simple act of donating blood can help to save the lives of people amongst us that have sickle cell disorder.

“With the coronavirus pandemic, we thought it will be necessary to enlighten more people on how blood donation helps to provide the necessary transfusions to sickle cell patients,” he said.

Ms Veronica Abang, one of the organisers and the Special Assistant on New Media to the Delta State Governor, who spoke after donating blood, adjudged the event as a success.

She expressed hope that more awareness would be created so that such initiatives would be replicated across Nigeria for there to be more blood available to those that require them.

“It is great to see people who have never donated blood and people who were actually scared of needles, roll up their sleeves and participate in such a worthy cause.

“Moving forward, we hope that such citizen-driven blood drives can be replicated across the nation,” Abang said.

“The turn-out was impressive, however, next time, we hope to make it bigger and better,” said Wale Bakare, Special Assistant on Electronic and Digital Media to the President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan.

Bakare, also one of the organisers said that a lot of Nigerians were keen in engaging in such life-saving activities but lacked information as to how to participate.

Other young professionals who participated in the event include: Special Assistant on Gender and Social Development to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Fatima Kakuri.

The Special Assistant on New Media to the Federal Commissioner of the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and IDPS, Hussein Sulaiman and the Founder of the CANS, Khalil Halilu.