News Details

Shining the light on Sickle Cell Disease: The Mothers of Warriors in Action (MoWA)

Sickle Cell Hope Alive Foundation (SCHAF) held The Maiden Meeting of Mothers of Warriors in Action (MoWA). The Theme of the meeting was Shining the light on Sickle Cell Disease: The Mothers of Warriors in Action (MoWA) and the title “Advancing Care of People Living with Sickle Cell Disease (PLWSCD) and reducing the burden on Mothers as Caregivers of People Living With Sickle Cell Disease”

The meeting was a hybrid format comprising of both physical and virtual participation of attendees held at APEX Event Centre in Agodi, Ibadan, Nigeria on Wednesday 27th September, 2023.

The meeting was a special discourse of Mothers of Warriors Challenges and Sickle Cell Disease, implications and solutions. Speakers and Panelists at the meetings included: Professor Adeyinka Falusi FAS, FAMedS, a Professor of Haematology and Genetics, The Founder & Trustee of Sickle Cell Hope Alive Foundation, Mrs. Lovet Oladele, Mrs. Yemisi Iwayemi, Professor Olaitan Soyannwo, Director, Centre for Palliative Care, Nigeria, Dr. Mobolaji M. Salawu – Public Health Physician/Epidemiologist, Dr. O. Kotila, Pharmacist and SCHAF Resource Person, Mr. Abayomi Odetunde - Director of Operations, Sickle Cell Hope Alive Foundation, and some fathers of Warriors served as panelists at the events.

The meeting was attended by women in business, traders, and some professionals in the community. Stimulating and engaging discourse was used to enumerate their challenges and how these challenges continue to be resolved. An indebt questionnaire methodology was also applied to further tease out more undisclosed challenges they face daily on their wards living with Sickel Cell Disease.

SCHAF encouraged the mothers to keep hope alive and remain relentless in the fight against Sickle Cell Disease and continue to do their best for their children despite the financial burden of SCD. Most costs are paid out of pocket in Nigeria with the highest burden of SCD in the world while support for insurance, medical and financial facilities are least accessible.

Alhaja Asiata Aduke Onikoyi-Laguda from Lagos who lived up to a ripe old age of 95 years was cited to show that Sickle Cell Disease is not a death sentence. Professor Falusi reiterated the Foundation's commitment to supporting mothers as caregivers to alleviate the pain of their children. Sickle Cell Hope Alive Foundation hopes to continually source medication for them and empower the mothers financially, emotionally and psychologically demonstrating to them that they are not alone in their struggles.  Speaking further, she said the Foundation, in alignment with her vision to reduce the burden of Sickle Cell Disease, will continue to support the Warriors and their Caregivers as best as possible. 

Professor Falusi gave a 10 point advice while addressing the mothers on the care of their wards

1.     Adequate hydration with optimal water intake daily.

2.     Availability of thermometers as necessary facility in their homes for accurate evaluation of fevers. The provision of Thermometers to all who needed one (a sizeable proportion of the mothers) was made possible at the venue by the Sickle Cell Hope Alive Foundation.

3.     Provision of balanced nutritional diet with protein, fruits, and vegetables for their children.

4.     Keeping the appointments of their wards as demanded by their physicians who can pick up some yet upcoming infections or impending anaemia.

5.     Strict compliance of Warriors with their own prescription and never copying or using the medication of others.

6.     Use of Supplements as thyme, Garlic etc. will help either as microbial or antifungal agents to ward off infections.

7.     Smoking, Alcohol should not be tolerated from and no copycat behaviors. Avoid these vices.

8.     Get immunized, vaccinated as appropriate. 

9.     Pain management differs in different individuals. Assess triggers, encourage relaxation, exercise, heat therapy, stress levels, emotional, psychological, financial, resting, adequate sleep, encourage meditation.,

10.  Support system: A strong support network of understanding friends and families to improve their communication skills to voice out their challenges to prevent isolation and frustration.

Indepth interviews was coordinated by Dr. Salawu while other panelists prayed and encouraged Mothers on medical, emotional, psychological aspects. Priapism cases came to the fore front as a major challenge and therapeutic intervention was well discussed.

Fathers in attendance spoke at length to encourage other fathers not to abandon the mothers to the burden of Sickle Cell Disease.