By Onome Oghenetega
Dame Edith Okowa, wife of the Delta State governor and founder of O5 Initiative, has charged intending couples to know their genotype before taking marital decisions.
The Delta First Lady gave the charge while inaugurating a sickle cell clinic at the Central Hospital, Warri, in Warri South Local Government Area of the state on Friday.
Mrs Okowa said her desire is to make sickle cell centres available in the 25 local government areas of the state before the end of 2023.
She said the centre brings to 16 the number of sickle cell clinics that have been established in the state since she became First Lady
The governor’s wife flanked by His Royal Majesty, Okumagba ll, Orosuen of Okere-Urhobo Kingdom Warri and member representing Warri Federal Constituency at the House of Representatives, Hon. Thomas Ereyitomi, noted that the inauguration of the centre will make treatment accessible to persons living with sickle cell disorder.
Mrs. Okowa said,” The commissioning of these clinics has been a long-term desire so as to help cater for the health needs of those living with sickle cell disorder in Warri and its environs.
“Beyond establishing these clinics, our desire is to make these facilities accessible to those who need them.
“It’s our desire to ensure that before the end of 2023, all the hospitals in the 25 local government areas of the state, have a sickle cell clinic.”
Speaking on the need for intending couples to know their genotype status before taking marital decisions, she said such help to avoid giving birth to children with sickle cell disorder.
“It is our desire to see that the peculiar needs of these ‘warriors’ as we choose to call them, are met in the midst of the teeming health challenges of the growing population.
“This is exactly why we are establishing special clinics that would be accessible to them. I am pleading on behalf of the 05 team that we must sustain this clinic.
“When people come to use these facilities, they should be charged at subsidized rate so that we could be able to service these machines. We want our children’s children to make use of this facility too.
“The new-born babies screening machine that we have here in Warri is the only one in Delta and this is courtesy of your sons and your daughters who have provided the funds for the purchase of the equipment for the clinic”, the Delta First Lady added
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She commended the contributions of the Warri South council chairman, Dr Michael Tidi and other PDP leaders in Warri and its environs for the support for the success of the project.
Earlier, Director General of the Initiative, Mrs. Oghenekevwe Agas, in her address, emphasized that the project was in line with the vision of O5 Initiative, which is centred on making life meaningful for those living with sickle cell.
On his part, Chairman of the Warri South Local Government Area, Dr Tidi, commended the effort of the First Lady for situating the centre in Warri, adding that it will help ameliorate the sufferings of Warri residents.
Her urged staff of the Central Hospital, Warri, to put the facility into proper use as well as maintain it for the general good of society.
Some of the facilities in the commissioned clinic include Haematospin machines, genotype tanks, electrophoresis machines, Mindray BC 20 analyzer matching, stocks of reagents to last about one years, as well as refurbished laboratories, waiting room and beds.