By Sunny A. Ijomah
A bill for a law to repeal the Anambra State Sickle Cell Disease Control and Eradication Law, 2019, has been passed by the State lawmakers.
The bill which was sponsored by the Member representing Anaocha Constituency Two, Chief Charles Ezeani and fifteen others was passed during yesterdays plenary in Awka.
The Sickle Cell Disease Control and Eradication Repeal Bill seek to eradicate sickle cell anemia in Anambra State and set those living with it free from all kinds of oppression, abuse and exploitation.
The Bill stipulates that no parent, guardian or group shall give out a maiden in marriage without verification of a qualified Sickle Cell Disease Prevention Certificate.
It also provides that no religious body or registry shall perform Holy Matrimony without verification of a Sickller, as anybody who contravenes the provisions of this section shall be guilty of an offence and is liable on conviction to the fine of two hundred thousand Naira or imprisonment to a term of three years or both.
The Bill further provides that no licensed or unlicensed orthodox medical practitioner shall treat any sickle cell carrier as defaulters shall be punished according to the provisions of this bill.
The bill also put in place a Monitoring Committee to ensure compliance.
The Speaker Mrs. Rita Mmaduagwu read out the bill while members of the House supported it through voice vote.
Speaking on the bill, the Sponsor, Chief Ezeani explained that the bill which is life saving will put a final stop to the notion that love is blind, which leads to couple whose genotype don’t tally giving birth to children with sickle cell disease.
On her part, the National Coordinator of People living with Sickle Cell Anemia, Aisha Edward, who regretted that à lot of people living with sickle cell anemia had passed through hell in the society, commended the Anambra State House of Assembly for enacting a law that will protect the carriers from all forms of discrimination in the State.