Sickle cell: Abia First Lady tasks couples on genotype

Sickle cell: Abia First Lady tasks couples on genotype

Wednesday, May 15, 2019 5:42 pm

Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State

Nkechi Ikpeazu, Abia State First Lady and Founder of a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) on Sickle Cell Anemia, has advised would be couples to go through genotype test before marriage and child bearing.

Ikpeazu told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Port Harcourt, that it was important to curb sickle cell disease.

The NGO, Vicar Hope Foundation, is also involved in maternal and child health care for teenagers as well as battling diseases that affect adults.

“As part of efforts to improve the health status of our women, we carry out sensitisation workshops on cancer and sickle cell anemia,” she said.

Ikpeazu said that the foundation has established clinics both in Aba and Umuahia and remained steadfast in organising seminars and workshops for women, by advising them to caution their children against marrying without getting to know their genotype.

The First Lady also expressed commitment to empowerment programmes for young graduates in Abia state.

She said that in as much as acquiring degrees and relevant educational qualifications remained necessarily, skills acquisition would continue to serve as a veritable tool to fight unemployment among young graduates.

“It is very necessary to get certificates but also needful to acquire skills, to provide opportunity for self employment and growth for the Small and Medium Enterprises. (SMEs).

“No doubt, our teeming graduates would strengthen the SMEs when armed with relevant skills thereby reducing unemployment and crime rate in our society.

The First Lady said that her office had no doubt empowered more than 5000 women in various households across local government areas in Abia.

“In Abia, we upheld several skills acquisition programmes for women, presently, no fewer than 5000 women have been either trained or aided with trade grants to enhance better living.

“We have been consistent in our three months per batch training done across local government areas and in collaboration with the National Directorate of Employment (NDE).

“After each training, beneficiaries are empowered with starter packs relevant to their skills.

“For instance, those trained on hair dressing were given hair styling equipment and electricity power generating sets, same goes for other departments like tailoring, welding and others,” she said.

Similarly, the first lady assured of commitment towards improving the living standards of the poor widows in Abia through skills acquisition programmes, trade grants and other forms of charity.

“For indigent widows, we have built about 50 houses for those of them who do not have befitting shelter.

“After assigning shelter to them, we also look inward to see which family member of the benefiting household could best utilise our empowerment opportunities.

“Where the widow is still strong, we empower her to cater for her children but where she is frail but with elderly children, we channel such opportunities to one of them, who in turn care for her family,” she said.

Join The Conversation

What do you think?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.