By Fodio Ahmed

Niger State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Mustapha Muhammed Jibril has lauded the Health initiatives and intervention of a Non-Governmental and Non-Profit making organisation established by the Wife of a lawmaker in the Niger 8th Assembly.

Not one to forget and proudly holding her roots with greate importance, the Wife of the Honourable member representing Kontagora 1 constituency at the Niger State House of Assembly, Hon. Muhammed Nuradeen Umar, the Dan-Isa Kontagora, Hajiya Maryam H. Haruna has gave back to her community through conducting Lecture on Sickle Cell Disease, Free Genotype Screening Exercise and provided routine medication in Kontagora through her NGO, Hope Makes a Difference.

The applaudable gesture of Hajiya Haruna to many who know her Husband's love for his community, were not surprised. The lawmaker has always believed in the philanthropic attribute of coming home to give back. The unique activity was held at the M. T. Kontagora town hall on Saturday March 11th, 2017 witnessed by the Niger State Commissioner of Health, Dr. Mustapha Jibril and the Honourable member representing Mashegu constituency at the Niger State House of Assembly.

Hajiya Maryam Haruna is exceptionally passionate about the betterment of her community and the less privileged. According to National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is described as a group of inherited red blood cell disorders. People with SCD have abnormal hemoglobin, called hemoglobin S or sickle hemoglobin, in their red blood cells.

Hemoglobin is a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout the body.

“Inherited” means that the disease is passed by genes from parents to their children. SCD is not contagious. A person cannot catch it, like a cold or infection, from someone else.

People who have SCD inherit two abnormal hemoglobin genes, one from each parent. In all forms of SCD, at least one of the two abnormal genes causes a person’s body to make hemoglobin S. When a person has two hemoglobin S genes, Hemoglobin SS, the disease is called sickle cell anemia.

On Genotype, biology online says "genotype refers to the entire set of genes in a cell, an organism, or an individual. A gene for a particular character or trait may exist in two allelic forms; one is dominant (e.g. A) and the other is recessive (e.g. a). Based on this, there could be three possible genotypes for a particular character: AA (homozygous dominant), Aa (heterozygous), and aa (homozygous recessive).

Hope Makes a Difference with the slogan of Everyone Matters and it starts with you is indeed translating its name, mandate and purpose to reality. According to the Founder, aggressive public sensitization and awareness campaigns are major tools to educate and enlighten the people, especially at the rural areas.

Adding that, there is a need for public education to determine genotype, as well as education about the inheritable nature of the disease and how those with the disease can manage it.

In his response, the Commissioner of Health, Dr. Mustapha Jibril applauded the initiative describing it as an astounding idea, worthy of emulation coming at the right time to the right people. Dr. Jibril enjoined other people with opportunities to contribute, no matter how small towards the betterment of their communities while enjoining the Founder of the NGO, Hajiya Maryam H. Haruna not to relent in her course to bring to fruition, initiatives of great importance and value to the general public while re-assuring the NGO of the readiness of the State Ministry to continue partnering and supporting the incredible health projects and initiatives of the foundation.