By BUSINESS REPORTER
AZANIA Bank Limited has donated five million shillings to the Sickle Cell Foundation of Tanzania as part of the bank’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Program that tends to give back to societies where the bank operates.
The funds will be used in creating awareness amongst the public in a bid to reduce sickle-cell related deaths.
Speaking during the hand-over of the funds in Dar es Salaam yesterday, the Azania Bank Director in Managing Director’s Office Mr. Godwin Seiya said his bank has this year decided to increase funding to the sickle Cell Foundation to a tune of five million shillings so as to enable the foundation carry out its obligations diligently.
“We are today handing over five million shillings to the Sickle Cell Foundation to enable it carry out its tasks. We believe that the only way we can succeed in fighting the disease is through appropriate information dissemination.
“We know the magnitude of the problem and we call upon parents to test their children against Sick cell since the disease reduces people’s life –span,” he added.
He added that his bank is committed to supporting various community development initiatives in areas where it operate since customers are a part of the bank’s growth and survival.
The Head of Clinical Services at the Sickle Cell Foundation in Muhimbili National Hospital, Dr Deogratias Soka who received the funds on behalf of the Sickle Cell Foundation said about 10,000- 15,000 babies are born in Tanzania each year with Sickle Cells Disease adding that 85 percent of the number dies before celebrating their second birthday.
“Tanzania is one of the countries with the highest births of Sickle Cell individuals in the whole world. The most surprising part is that such children however die before celebrating their second birthday due to lack of knowledge about the disease.
“We are planning to establish a special unit to cater for Sickle Cell related cases at MNH that will cost two billion shillings upon completion and this will enable us to take care of sickle cell cases with ease,” he said without explaining on when the unit would be ready.