NGO launches comic book for young adults with sickle cell

NGO launches comic book for young adults with sickle cell


Rebecca Ejifoma

A non-governmental organisation, Cells of a Generation (COAG), is set to unveil the Didi project, an educative comic book for young people living with the Sickle Cell Disorder (SCD), which aims at preparing SCD children and young adult for healthy, long, fulfilling lives while living with the disorder.

The organisation made this known in a press release it issued to introduce Project Didi to help SCD patients across the country.

Sickle Cell Disorder (SCD) is one of the most common genetic diseases worldwide and its highest prevalence occurs in Sub-Saharan Africa, especially Nigeria.

According to the Sickle Cell Disorder Foundation (SCDF), approximately 250 million people worldwide carry the gene responsible for SCD and over 300,000 babies with this haemoglobin disorder are born each year.

The Founder of COAG, Sharon Browne-Peter, explained  that the Didi Project is the opening project to a much bigger conversation on the issue of the Sickle Cell Disorder, stating that,  “These comics would open the conversation for greater systematic issues that people with disabilities face every day in Nigeria, which ultimately would improve the knowledge of the issues surrounding SCD and the conditions of living of those with the disorder. ”

The project is an educational comic book that portrays the life of a 13-year-old Didi. “Didi is our comic character. Through her stories, readers get a first-hand look into her life while dealing with the condition”.

COAG noted that it will be strategically collaborating with other organisations for special interventions at schools and clinics throughout the year, and that these interventions will have informative activities tailored to SCD patients, caregivers, parents and carriers for the teeming benefit of Didi and friends.

Sharon explained further that these interventions seek to prepare every child and young adult living with sickle cell anaemia for healthy, long and fulfilling lives.

Sharon Browne-Peter, also living with SCD further noted that the Didi project has been a long-awaited childhood dream of hers which is now coming to life. She however decried the social challenges faced by persons living with SCD. stating that: “There are many structural issues to tackle in Nigeria for sickle cell sufferers from the enforcement of mandatory early diagnosis screenings in infants to everyday stigmatisation especially in the workplace.”

Although many organisations have rolled up their sleeves to tackle these issues already in West Africa, COAG hopes to have more partners this year to join in the fight.

Having been in existence for about six months now, Cells of a Generation Initiatives services have been especially useful for caregivers.

“We are building a community of SCD fighters that share helpful knowledge and support one another. These people, like myself, have gradually improved their overall health by just having the right information,” Sharon highlitghted.

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