Wednesday, July 10, 2013

IFC and AFC Staff host Walkathon to Support Sickle Cell Research in Nigeria

Staffs of IFC, a member of the World Bank Groups, and the Africa Finance Corporation, are jointly hosting a Walkathon to raise awareness about Sickle Cell Anemia, and to generate support for research as well as other institutions caring for people affected by the sickle cell condition.

The staff-led initiative tagged ‘Let’s be Sickle Smart Walkathon 2013’ is supported by The Sickle Cell Foundation, the Tony Elumelu Foundation, Food Concepts, Custodian Insurance, ARM Properties and Sixth Sense Manifesto.

The Sickle Cell Walkathon will cover a 7-kilometer distance and is scheduled to start at 6:45am on Saturday, July 13, 2013, from the National Museum Onikan, Lagos Island. Participants are asked to register online at where further details can be obtained.

Solomon Adegbie-Quaynor, IFC Country Manager for Nigeria, said “The Sickle Cell condition primarily affects people of African descent.  If there is to be any progress in genetic research or transforming healthcare management for people afflicted with this condition, leadership has to come from Nigeria, the most populous African nation and the one with the highest number of people with the condition.” 

Andrew Alli, AFC President and CEO, said, “We are very excited to be supporting this inaugural walkathon as part of AFC's staff community efforts. The staff of IFC and AFC, along with supporting institutions, expects to raise awareness about the sickle cell disorder, increase knowledge about recent strides in management of the condition, and generate funding to help strengthen research efforts.”

According to the World Health Organization, the Sickle Cell condition is the most common inherited disorder in the world, with three quarters of cases occurring in Africa. In Nigeria, it affects two out of every hundred children born, causing suffering for innumerable people and their families Julius Agwu will moderate the event and following the walk, participants will be addressed by various experts including Professor Olu Akinyanju and Titi Adeyemo. Complimentary refreshments will be provided, while prizes will be awarded for the most enthusiastic walkers.