Lions Club, a local charity group that seeks to meet the humanitarian needs of communities especially the visually impaired and the underprivileged through direct service communities, says it will work with the Ministry of Health (MOH) to provide free sickle cell disease and malaria treatment to citizens across the country.
Sickle Cell Disease is a group of ‘inherited’ red blood cell disorders. Healthy red blood cells are round, and they move through small blood vessels to carry oxygen to all parts of the body while malaria is a fatal disease caused by mosquitoes that feed on a human.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (www.cdc.gov.com) a sickle cell patient’s red blood cell becomes hard and sticky, and children with the disease are at an increased risk of infection and other health problems. Early diagnosis and treatment are important.
Unlike malaria that is transmitted by the bite of a parasite, sickle cell is a genetic condition that is present at birth and it is inherited when a child receives two sickle cell genes—one from each parent.
Presenting the project to Dr. Wilemina Jallah at the Ministry of Health, Lossou G. Hermann Djibom, District Governor for District 403A2 of the Lions Club International, said they will remain engaged and will continue to partner with the government to bring relief to communities within Liberia and the regions.
Governor Djibom is on a four-day visit to Liberia, from Lomé, Togo, and will visit all the projects undertaken by the club including—the Liberia Government Hospital Eye Center in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County, the Eye Clinic at the John F. Kennedy (JFK) Medical Center, the Fendell Elementary School in Fendell and the Visually Impaired Computer Lab at the AME University Campus on Camp Johnson Road.
Mr. Djibom: “We have been very helpful to the government. We are partners to them especially in the area of eye care service delivery and we are also engaged in providing free treatment for diseases that are common in the communities.” He thanked Dr. Jallah for her tireless effort in combating COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr. Jallah said though the pandemic disrupted every activity, the Lions Club was to make a significant impact in the country especially the health sector.
She said the sickle cell treatment is a boost for the country, especially newborn babies. “I am so passionate about this sickle cell disease. We have been trying so hard to start screening newborn babies but due to constraints we have not started the process.”
According to her, to eradicate the disease one must be able to screen all babies and have a clinic for adult sickle cell patients.
“People go into marriage without conducting a sickle cell test and if one person has the disease there is a chance for children contracting the disease,” she said, indicating “We must come to a place where we will add Sickle cell disease Counselling to marriage counseling.”