Commenting on the partnership, chairman of Dana Group, Mr Ramesh Hathiramani said, “With over 40 million people as healthy carriers of the sickle cell gene and over 150,000 babies born each year with sickle cell anaemia, Nigeria has the largest burden of the disorder compared to anywhere in the world. This is why Dana Air, through the Sri Sai Vandana Foundation is pleased to partner with the Sickle Cell Foundation to generate funds for the centre towards alleviating the burden of the disorder in the country.”
Describing how the in-flight envelope donation scheme would work, Hathiramani explained that envelopes with basic information on the sickle cell disorder would be made available on all Dana Air flights, and in-flight announcements would be made by the cabin crew inviting passengers to support the foundation by making donations to the centre.
“We believe that the contributions of our passengers will go a long way towards funding some of the projects of the centre and ensuring that all persons affected by the disorder can live normal, pain-free lives,” he added.
The chairman of the Sickle Cell Foundation Nigeria, Professor Olu Akinyanju, thanked management of Dana Air for collaborating with the foundation to raise funds for the Sickle Cell Centre.
He noted, “Where disorders are common, special dedicated centres are required, to ensure adequate services for treatment and prevention.”
Akinyanju called on individuals and corporate bodies to emulate Dana Air and the Sri Sai Vandana Foundation by supporting the activities of the centre.
The Sickle Cell Foundation Nigeria was established in November 1994 as a non-governmental and non-profit making organization dedicated to care and control of sickle cell disorders in Nigeria.
The National Sickle Cell Centre is strategically located opposite the Lagos University Teaching Hospital.
Its programmes include clinical and laboratory services, genetic counselling service, prenatal diagnosis, newborn screening, research, capacity building, advocacy and education.
Sri Sai Vandana Foundation in the same vein is a charitable trust, serving as an avenue through which Dana Group and its subsidiaries fulfil its corporate social responsibility to the society.