The MTN Foundation has completed the installation and upgrade of advanced Prenatal Diagnostic equipment at the DNA laboratory of the Sickle Cell Foundation of Nigeria (SCFN). The handover ceremony held on Tuesday, January 29, 2019 at the National Sickle Cell Centre in Idi-Araba, Lagos.
With this latest upgrade and equipment installation, the DNA laboratory now operates at full capacity, capable of providing an end-to-end diagnosis of sickle cell anemia for unborn children of expectant mothers. Specifically, the new equipment will enable doctors diagnose a baby’s sickle cell status even before it is born, empowering parents with the ability to make informed choices concerning their child’s health.
Prior to this, all test samples had to be taken abroad for further analysis and diagnosis after preliminary tests were conducted in Nigeria as the country lacked the capacity for such tests.
Speaking at the handover ceremony, Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi, Chairman MTN Foundation, said, “With one in four Nigerians carrying the sickle cell gene, investment in research and technology in this field ensures that the Sickle Cell Centre continues its invaluable work of empowering our mothers and children with access to cost-effective, life-saving in-country care.”
Prince Adelusi-Adeluyi further stated that the Foundation will continue to support the DNA Laboratory in keeping to its commitment to improving health care delivery and capacity development in Nigeria’s health sector.
This is in addition to promoting other initiatives under the Foundation’s mother and child cause aimed at reducing the mortality rate.
In his remarks, Prof. Olu Akinyanju, Chairman Sickle Cell Foundation of Nigeria, said MTN Foundation’s intervention was a critical step in aiding the SCFN’s efforts to provide world-class care to sickle cell patients in Nigeria and West Africa.
The MTN Foundation, which is the Corporate Social Responsibility vehicle of MTN Nigeria, is the leading social impact organisation in Nigeria. It has expended over N18 billion in carrying out projects in 750 project sites across the 36 states of Nigeria and the FCT.