Anambra State House of Assembly, has enacted a law to control and eradicate Sickle cell anemia in the state.
The bill was sponsored by the member representing Anaocha 11 constituency, Hon Charles Ezeani, the same lawmaker behind the bill for expensive burials and funerals in the state.
The sickle cell disease control and eradicate repeal bill seeks to eradicate sickle cell anaemia in the state and sets those living with it free from all kinds of oppression, abuse and exploitation.
According to the bill, “It stipulates that no parent, guardian or group of persons 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 wed any person without verification as anybody who contravenes the provision of this section shall be guilty of an offence and is liable on conviction to the fine of 200,000 naira or imprisonment to the term of three years or both”
Not only that, it bill puts in place a state monitoring committee to ensure strict compliance.
The 6th Anambra state House of Assembly passed the bill after scaling the last reading, during plenary on Tuesday.
The sponsor of the bill, Hon Ezeani, while addressing reporters on Wednesday, on the merits of the bill, explained that the bill was a life-saving one.
He said it would put a final stop to the notion that ‘love is blind’, by ensuring that intending couples must present their genotype test before marriage consummation.
However, he commended the Speaker, Hon Rita Maduagwu, and his colleagues for being the first to pass such a health enhancement bill in the country.
Speaking with The Nation, the National Coordinator of people living with sickle cell anaemia, Mrs Aisha Edwards, thanked the lawmakers for the feat.
She said the law would protect the sickle cell patients from all forms of discrimination and marginalization in the state.