SOME sickle cell anaemia carriers, under the aegis of Association of People Living with Sickle Cell Disorder, APLSCD, have rejected the monitoring committee set up to implement the Anambra 2019 Sickle Cell Law, describing it as a kangaroo.
It was learnt that the law empowered the committee to, among other things, set up a similar committee and taskforce whose responsibilities should include: ensuring that all potential couples undergo screening to ascertain their genetic compatibility before proceeding for marriage traditionally, in court or church.
National coordinator, Mrs. Aisha Edward-Maduagwu, in a media interaction over the weekend at Sickle Cell Home in Agulu, Anaocha Local Government Area of Anambra, argued that their members were not duly represented in the committee as specified by the law.
She added that investigations showed that some members of the committee, led by the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Vincent Okpala, were unqualified.
“The sickle cell monitoring committee which is the engine block was inaugurated last week after we wrote a series of letters to the Commissioner for Health to set up the committee. Unfortunately, what the commissioner setup is what I call a kangaroo committee because it was not properly constituted.
“Members of the committee as specified by the law are; a representative of the association of people living with sickle cell, a haematologist, a psychiatrist, a chemical pathologist, a paediatrician, a clergyman, a member of the medical laboratory of Nigeria.
“Others are a member of the pharmaceutical society of Nigeria, a staff of the state ministry of health, a legal practitioner and a representative of Anambra State Association of Town Union, ASATU. The Commissioner did not write to request a nominee from us as required by the law.
“He did not inform us when the inauguration was to take place. My members and I have been championing this course six years ago. He even acknowledged in his speech at the event which has gone viral that I am the architect of sickle cell law in Anambra State.
“This is the same ministry or government we have been working with to get this passed and assented to. So, what has gone wrong? No one among the committee members he inaugurated is a sickle cell carrier. Does it not contravene the law?
“How would people without the genetic condition know what we are passing through? ASPLSCD has many qualified people including those with M.Sc. in Microbiology to function effectively in the committee,” Mrs. Edward-Maduagwu said.