June 19th is officially designated by the United Nations as World Sickle Cell Awareness Day with the objective of increasing public knowledge and understanding of sickle cell disease, and the challenges experienced by patients, their families and caregivers.
Saturday’s event under the theme ‘Knowledge is Power’ was organised by The Gambia Sickle Cell Disease Association and bank-rolled by GTBank Gambia. Event participants marched from Westfield to the GTBank headquarters.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Sola Mahoney, chairman of GTBank Board of Directors said it was an honor for the bank to associate with The Gambia Sickle Cell Disease Association in such a “valuable and worthy venture”.
Mahoney reiterated the Bank’s resolve to complement national and community initiatives that are aimed at improving the lives and livelihoods of Gambians.
He equally pledged his personal support to the association.
Alieu Badara W. Sambou, president of The Gambia Sickle Cell Disease Association said everything their association does is aimed at improving the quality of life and empower individuals and families affected by sickle cell disease.
Sambou said his association believed that through education, “we can move towards a world free of health, economic and social disparities caused by sickle cell disease.”
Also speaking, Abolaji Isiaka Yusuff, Managing Director of The GTBank Gambia Limited, said that supporting the event was in line with the bank’s Corporate Social Responsibility.
He encouraged people who do not yet know their genotype to go to health facilities and test, noting that this could help in controlling the spread of the disease.
He encouraged people living with sickle cell also called Sickle Cell Warriors to remain positive about their conditions.
Ousman Sillah, chairperson of the National Assembly Select Committee on Health said sickle cell disease is a disease that needs special attention.
The Health Insurance Bill, he said, is before the National Assembly and whenever it is passed and becomes an Act, the sickle cell diseases will be considered.
The director of health communications, Momodou Njie said government remains committed to providing quality health care delivery to all people”.
He assured sickle warriors that welfare was equally important to the Ministry of Health and efforts are being made to ensure warriors are adequately attended to at health facilities.
Report prepared by
Corporate Affairs Unit
GTBank Gambia Limited