In line with my research focus on genomics of breast cancer and other non-communicable diseases, I have been collaborating with Prof. Adeyinka G. Falusi in my PhD research journey that is funded by CARTA. A Professor of Hematology, Prof. Falusi has carried out several research projects on the genetics of breast cancer in Nigeria in collaboration with Professor Olufunmilayo Olopade of the University of Chicago.
Her genetics laboratory, based at the Genetics and Bioethics Unit, Institute for Advance Medical Research and Training (IAMRAT) is well equipped with state-of-the-art equipment. I, therefore, got involved with Prof. Falusi to mentor me in my PhD research and to have access to the facilities in her laboratory.
I have been working closely with Prof. Falusi and besides my research, I have also taken interest in an initiative addressing sickle cell diseases (SCD) that she founded, called the Sickle Cell Hope Alive Foundation (SCHAF). A non-governmental organization, SCHAF promotes sickle cell disease awareness in Nigeria, provides support to sickle cell patients, and conducts research on sickle cell disease.
Since 2019, I have been actively involved in several of SCHAF’s initiatives. A recent activity was the dissemination of SCHAF’s research on the “Prevalence of HIV, HBV, and HCV among individuals with or without sickle cell disease in Southwest Nigeria.” This was achieved through a press event held on April 22, 2022, where personnel from six different media houses – television stations; radio stations; print; and social media were invited. Three scientific articles that had been generated from the study were packaged in lay language for the press so that they could in turn disseminate widely to the public.
The project has also had other community engagement initiatives including:
- Distribution of parent handbooks on sickle cell patient care to sickle cell patients’ parents and caregivers.
- Set up of “Know Your Genotype” clubs in schools to create awareness of sickle cell disease among children.
- We also involve religious heads and community leaders whenever we have outreaches to create awareness of sickle cell disease.
Read press release: here
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