The winner of Face of Epic Africa Beauty Pageant 2021, Rafat Isah has called for increase in the awareness campaign and health talks in the fight against sickle cell anemia for intending couples.
Rafat who disclosed this at the weekend during a visit
to Uke General hospital in Nasarawa State, urged both government and private organisations to redouble their efforts in tackling and improving the health status of patients living with the disease.
While distributing food items to the patients, She said her visit to the hospital was part of the activities line up toward the achievement of her pet project, tittled “Eradication of Sickle Cell Anaemia ” aimed at creating awareness campaign on the ailment for the intending couples irrespective of their religious affiliation.
The beauty Queen further enjoined intending couples to consider genotype compatibility before saying ‘I do’.
She however condemned the discrimination by the people and employers against those diagnosed with sickle cell anemia describing the action as absurd and unacceptable.
In her words “I am Rafat Isah the face of Epic Africa 2021 working on the project titled “Eradication of Sickle Cell Anaemia”. We can come together and eradicate the scourge of Sickle Cell in Nigeria. All we need to do is to create much needed awareness for intending couples to take necessary precaution and avoid marrying partners with genotype that is not compatible.
” For example partners with following genotypes are not compatible and are not expected to get married; AS + AS, AS + SS, SS + SS and AC + SS.
“I am here to impact on the life of patients that are receiving treatment in this hospital with the little i have to support them and wish them quick recovery.
She added that the next phase of the project would involve free genotype test and awareness campaign in public places.
Also speaking at the event, the Yakanajen Uke,
HRH. Alh. Dr. Ahmad Abdullahi Hassan ( Koba )
commended the kind gesture and show of love exhibited by the beauty Queen, saying that his late son had been advocating for such project and awareness campaign among the youths who are of marriageable age to avoid making such grave mistake.
According to him ” It brings back the memory of my late son Nurudeen Adamu Abdullahi. This is what he has been advocating for and today history has repeated itself for singlehandedly coming to pay homage and also to render assistance to the people of this community.
“That is why i said i am speechless, a word cannot be enough for me to express myself.
But whatsoever you feel is necessary and good to come and touch and impact the life of my people of my kingdom. I pray Almighty God give you what you desire. You will not lack”.
Some of the items distributed to the patients at male and female wards includes ; foods, tissue paper, detergents, table water, soft drinks, Dettol and others.
On her part, the Manager of Epic Africa Beauty Pageant, Queen Enegold Onuh said the pageant was aimed at promoting African girl child and young girls in order to inculcate African culture and tradition in them.
According to her ” Face of Epic Africa beauty pageant is an African pageant. We came to promote the young African girl child positively. To inculcate the Africa culture and tradition to our young girls. We brought this up because we want to enlighten them on how to become independent without deviating from the true Africa nature for girl child.
“We are unique in our own way in the sense that we take our time to camp our contestants for ten days, We give them that training to be able to stand out and look differentl when they go out to meet with other queens”.
Sickle Cell Disorder, also known as Sickle Cell Anaemia, is a group of disorders that cause red blood cells to become misshapen and break down.
It is an inherited group of disorders, where red blood cells contort into a sickle shape and die early, leaving a shortage of healthy red blood cells to convey oxygen throughout the body, blocking blood flow and causing pain to the patient, generally referred to as sickle cell crisis.
Normal red blood cells usually live for about 120 days before being replaced, but in patients with Sickle Cell Disease, the cells die in 10 to 20 days, causing a shortage, and without enough red blood cells, the body cannot get enough oxygen, causing pains and fatigue.