Delta First Lady Debunks Claim Of Foreign Financial Aid To Pet Project **See Dame Okowa’s Press Conference Speech

>>As O5 Initiative Partners Int’l Organizations On Management Of Sickle Cell Scourge

Blank NEWS Online (NIGERIA):

Wife of Delta State Governor and Founder of O5 Initiative, Dame Edith Okowa, on Wednesday, said the Initiative would partner individuals and organizations in the management and treating of sickle cell to minimize its impact in families and society.

She however debunked media reports that some financial commitment had been made by an international organization to her Initiative, saying “I want to state categorically that no memorandum of understanding has been signed and no financial commitment has been made’’.

Dame Okowa made this known at a news briefing in Asaba, on the activities of O5 Initiative, especially its presentation at the recent United Nations General Assembly in New York.

She said that the Initiative had established 12 sickle cell clinics in public hospitals across the state and equipped them with modern facilities and genetic counsellors and medical doctors.

She disclosed that at the UN event, O5 Initiative’s “modest efforts’’ in tackling the sickle cell in the state caught the interest of some organizations and individuals who expressed intention to do same in their countries.

“A major outcome of our UN presentation is the expressed desire of Initiative for Global Development, a Non-Governmental Organisation, to partner O5 Initiative.

“Their interest is centred on digitising our sickle cell clinics across the state. This will generate critical data in the management of sickle cell patients” Okowa said.

She listed some achievements of the Initiative as provision of welfare packages to prison inmates, empowerment of no fewer than 2,500 Delta women, medical outreach to over 26,000 Deltans, settlement of hospital bills for indigent citizens, provision of shelter for the homeless and feeding the poor.

Mrs Okowa who was flanked by the Commissioner for Information, Mr Charles Aniagwu and Director-General, O5 Initiative Mrs Kevwe Agas, commended various public and private individuals and organisations for their support to her project.

She called for more collaboration between her group and agencies and organisations to improve the lots of the less-privileged in the society.


It is with great pleasure that I welcome you all to this press conference.

I thank you gentle men of the press for your support in the last four years; your reportage has given O5 Initiative national and global recognition. Thank you for amplifying our voice, we do not make light your contributions in ensuring that we get the best.

Recently, the O5 Initiative hosted a side event at the 74th United Nations General Assembly in New York where our efforts were appreciated. It featured an overview of O5 Initiative with a focus on sickle cell disorder, the forgotten and the neglected; any hope for the children?

During the event, the Initiative for Global Development a US based NGO announced a donation of 10million dollars (3.5million naira) for the digitalization of our sickle cell clinics. However, there is a misinterpretation by some media organizations that we have received a grant to fight sickle cell, I want to categorically say that there is no Memorandum of Understanding to that effect.

A number of individuals and corporate organizations have expressed satisfaction with the work of the O5 Initiative as our activities are based on the command of our Lord Jesus Christ as recorded in Matthew 25:35-36 to feed the hungry, Care for the sick, Provide Shelter for the homeless, clothe the naked and visit the prisoner.

At this juncture, I want to thank all who have in one way or the other identified with us; we are encouraged by your kind words and financial support.

We intend to step up our activities in the years ahead to reach out to the needy and add value to more lives; we enjoin everyone especially the media to come along with us as we change our world one person at a time.

Thank you.

Dame Edith Okowa
Wife of the Governor
Founder O5 Initiative

News Reporter
Blank NEWS Online founding Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, Albert Eruorhe Ograka, is a Graduate of Mass Communication. He also holds a Post Graduate Diploma (PGD) in Journalism from the International Institute of Journalism (IIJ).

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