As part of my yearly #BreakTheSilence ... #BeASickleCellVoice online colour awareness campaign for Sickle Cell every June, I always have an offline activity planned to celebrate World Sickle Cell Day every June 19th.
This year's out reach activities were halted because of the Novel Coronavirus 19 (COVID 19) pandemic now plaguing the world.
Living with Sickle Cell myself, my primary target group is people living with sickle cell. Due to it's chronic nature, the condition places us within the high risk and vulnerable group.
There was the need to stay as safe as possible. But there was also a strong desire to do something worthwhile for the warriors instead of just sitting and so, I thought, how could we make sure warriors are protected as much as possible during this pandemic?
Sickle Cell Disorder (SCD) is a genetic blood disorder which affects a portion of the world's population. It is more prevalent in people of African, Asian and Mediterranian descent. The cost of medical bills is high enough. Adding masks and hand sanitizers to the budget would be too heavy for many. How do we help them offset this new cost while staying safe?
That is when the idea to push the initial plan forward and do something relevant with the times came up and so, we launched the #OperationProvideAMaskAndHandSanitizerForAWarrior campaign.
The support that came in was overwhelming. It enabled us go beyond our targeted number and we are able to help warriors in three towns.
We launched the campaign proper in Douala targeting the warriors at the Mboppi Baptist Hospital Sickle Cell Clinic on #WorldSickleCellDay June 19th. We continued in Bamenda with the Sickle Cell Clinic at the Baptist Hospital, Nkwen on June 27th. We were able to reach over a hundred warriors between these two towns and we are planning to round it up in Yaounde soon.
Stay tuned for the next updates.