Fidelity Bank Plc has partnered the Coalition of Sickle Cell Non-Governmental Organisations to commemorate the 2018 World Sickle Cell Day.
The lender said in a statement that this year’s celebration would be the ninth since the United Nations General Assembly declared June 19 World Sickle Cell Day in 2008.
The Head, Human Resources Recruitment/Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability, Fidelity Bank, Chris Nnakwe, explained that the bank’s e-banking division worked with the coalition in Nigeria to undertake its first corporate social responsibility initiative through the Fidelity Helping Hands Programme.
He said the initiative would be powered by the bank’s mVisa quick response code.
According to Nnakwe, about 150,000 children are born with sickle cell disorder in Nigeria annually, and about 75 per cent of them do not live to see their fifth birthday.
He stated that the situation called for more collaboration on awareness and enlightenment.
“We intend to be part of this journey of reducing the number of people living with sickle cell through awareness and education. We want to make it an annual event and every year, we will see how to get involved as part of our contribution for healthy living in the country,” he added.
The Chairperson, Coalition of Sickle Cell Non-Governmental Organisations, Toyin Adeola, commended the bank for the partnership and urged other corporate organisations to emulate the gesture.
Adeola stated that the coalition would be staging a ‘Red umbrella walk’ on June 16 in Lagos to create awareness about Sickle Cell Day at the community level.
She said, “Our goal, going forward, is to improve the quality of life of people with sickle cell disorder in Nigeria and increase their average life expectancy from less than 20 years to 60 years, and even surpass it.
“This can only happen if all hands are on deck. We encourage the government to work alongside the private sector, NGOs and communities across the country.”