Banire’s Wife Deepens Awareness On Rhesus Factor, Attracts Support From Canada

Mrs Olufunmilayo Banire, Founder, Rhesus Solution Initiative, RSI addressing Ikorodu residents, others on Saturday at Ikorodu Local Government Secretariat.

Mrs Funmilayo Banire, the wife of the National Legal Adviser of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, Dr Muiz Banire, SAN has continued to deepen the awareness on Rhesus disease attracting support for  victims from Canadian partners.

Mrs Banire, who led 2018 Rhesus Factor Day Walk For Life in Ikorodu area of Lagos on Saturday called on residents to reach out to her NGO, Rhesus Solution Initiative to get support for any Rhesus victims.

The amiable mother of four had been holding the annual walk for more than 10 years. She lamented the low awareness on Rhesus factor saying over 2.7 women are Rhesus negative in Nigeria.

She said, “ The low awareness of Rhesus factor is fueled by ignorance. Governments and the people believe it is not a common disease as against Malaria, HIV/AIDS and polio but it is indeed a problem that deserves attention. In US for example,that has only 10,000 deaths occasioned by Rhesus and was able to proffer solution 50 years ago.

“ They recently celebrated 50 years of providing prophylaxis in the treatment of Rhesus disease. So, if at their own end it has been eradicated, USA and Canade, I can imagine in our country where we have over 400,000 children that are been affected by the disease. So, it  is a major cause for concern.

“Though, it is not a very common disease as against 195 million Nigeria’s population but when you have 2.7m women being Rhesus negative, you can imagine  how big the problem is. It is also contributing to pains family face. Many homes are being devastated, many women stigmatized. Therefore, there is need to do something about it.

“We are increasing the awareness by going to schools to sensitize pupils on the Rhesus disease. We are also encouraging our mothers , the moment they are pregnant and put to bed. They should insist on testing the child for Rhesus and start counseling the child early enough if the result is Rhesus negative. By the time the child comes of age and start having boy friend , she knows  her status.

“The other challenge is the cost of the drug, prophylaxis (Rhogham), it is quit expensive. It is a major cause of concern. I just had a meeting with some stakeholders in Canada, they have eradicated the disease in their own domain. They are now looking at how to stem the spread globally.

“They have seen the work of our Non-Governmental Organization, Rhesus Solution Initiative(RSI) and how we have been intervening in providing the injection for indigent Nigerians. The injection costs N30,000, you can then imagine how many people can afford with the average income of 15,000 to 18, 000 Naira monthly income.

“The injection will be taken during pregnancy and about three days after delivery. That is why we appealing to public spirited individuals and governments to support us in confronting the challenge. Every life counts.

Mrs Banire disclosed that the NGO will open a  centre in Abuja soon to deepen the awareness and provide support for Rhesus victims in other parts of Nigeria.

“It is indeed a national problem but we are constrained by our limited resources. We limit ourselves to Lagos and Ogun states. We get calls from other states, we are considering establishing an office in Abuja. We are looking at replicating what we have done here in other states”, the wife of the convener, United Action for Change said.