Sickle Cell childrens charity, in partnership with Hope at Dawn foundation and HireX recently held an outreach and provided free supplements, medications and food supplies to 100 families in Lokoja, Kogi State.
Crescent Kids, a non-profit organisation provides life saving support to children with Sickle Cell. The charity was founded by Funmi Vanessa Ullam and her son Elijah who was diagnosed with Sickle Cell at 2 wks old. Their first hand experience with this challenging and complex condition and a desire to help other families led to the launch of Crescent Kids.
Crescent Kids provide free services which include blood transfusions, supplements, nutrition workshops and wellness products. Supporting children and families in the UK, US and Africa. Their goal is to set up a clinic in Kogi State region over the next few yrs.
Dan Roth, Global Recruiter at Amazon alongside recruitment company HireX in a joint effort to make the project possible donated towards the supplies provided which included mosquito nets, socks, water bottles and pain relief medications.
The outreach event served approximately 100 children between 0 and 18. Over 600 children from the same community have registered for follow up outreach events.
Kogi State, in the North Central Region of Nigeria has the highest population of people living with sickle cell compared to any other region or state. There are eight communities in Kogi State.
Kate Ajefu, Founder of Hope at Dawn Foundation in Kogi State said ‘As a result of very little awareness programmes, more and more children are born with sickle cell daily and many die on a monthly basis.This year alone we have lost 40 children’
In terms of medical facilities and availability of medical attention, there is very little. As a direct result, families are left at the mercy of unqualified individuals who claim to be pharmacists and sell substandard drugs at exorbitant prices to helpless & vulnerable families.
Mrs Funmi Vanessa Ullam, Founder & CEO of Crescent Kids said: “ Sickle Cell is the fastest growing genetic condition in the world. There are millions of children affected yet it is massively under resourced and under researched”
Many children from less privileged areas in Nigeria die as a result of sickle cell complications. Complications arising from malaria, typhoid can be life threatening for these children. There are available treatments and vaccinations for these conditions; many of these families cannot afford these treatments.
“Sickle Cell awareness, education coupled with access to medical care will empower children and families and save lives. As an organisation we are continuously raising awareness to transform the lives of these children.
Crescent Kids provide free blood transfusions, meal packs and pain relief on an ongoing basis. There are also plans to set up mission projects in additional states in Nigeria.
Funmi Ullam said that the team will return to Lokoja in March will be partnering with several charities across Nigeria in the coming months.
Driven by the UN SDG Goal No 3, Good Health and Well-being, our #stopthepain initiative is a high priority.
As well as the high morbidity rates, Sickle cell disease has many social and psychological problems which need to be addressed. Enuresis, depressive symptoms, school absentees, and deterioration in school performance are common problems encountered
According to research nearly 90%of the world’s Sickle Cell population lives in three countries: Nigeria, India, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
People with sickle cell disease produce unusually shaped red blood cells that can cause problems because they do not live as long as healthy blood cells and can block blood vessels. Sickle cell disease is a serious and lifelong health condition, although treatment can help manage many of the symptoms.
Crescent Kids is working towards forging the right partnerships to forever impact the lives of millions of children living with Sickle Cell in Africa.