[slideshow] As planned, the ASYABI conference, took place in Leeds on Saturday 6th November 2010 with a large number of speakers from different background include scientists of the field such as Dr. Asa’ah Nkhokwo, Former Executive Chief of the Sickle Cell Society in London, Nationwide Adviser on Comprehensive Care and Technical Adviser of the Department of Health on Comprehensive Care, who did a presentation on the new updated on Department of Health-Sponsored Project on Comprehensive Care, in which an early indications suggest that “there is an urgent need to strengthen the infrastructure of patient groups around the country”.

This event was mainly dominated by the frontline (patients) such as , Mr. Ajay Dattani, Young Actor living with Sickle Cell in the UK and Chairman of the Organisation for Sickle Cell Anaemia Relief and Thalassaemia Support (OSCAR Birmingham); his gorgeous testimony on his life had underlined the several challenges that he had so far facing before he found the confidence of joining the theatre field later and he is involving in some projects with schools and young people, but he is more optimistic today about his condition and he wants to encourage other sufferers to come out with a new perception. Then, Mr. Kevin Dunkley, a sickle cell sufferer and Chairman of the Patient Network Support Group (PNSG) had summarised his work of bringing together sufferers of the same condition for a strengthen and self believe for a strong and solid communities that he believes will bring a lot of changes into the sickle cell campaigns.

Finally, the ASYABI Chairman Mr. Olivier Mmounda, had first of all thank his guests for their strong commitment of supporting our common and marginal cause through this long journey of trip to Leeds made by the representatives of Sickle Cell organisations across the UK to support the ASYABI’s event, which he believes will inspire progressively other sufferers of Leeds and Yorkshire to put behind them the stigma that they face on their daily basis and they may understand that the only solution of fighting against it is to share those challenges with their communities and the UK society which for many do not know anything about it and even about sickle cell. He had concluded that such powerful testimonies made by experienced sufferers like Mr. Ajay and Kevin should be used as an instrument of prove that there are some sufferers who can provide a strong advocacy to the communities and bringing together sufferers of the same condition, which until today is not supported enough by other sufferers who suffer from a stigma.

He had also on his presentation on ‘Living with Sickle Cell in Africa’ raised the concern of that “it is vital to raise our communities and the UK population awareness of our condition but it is also important to highlight the international figure of the sickle cell, which affects about 200,000 new born every year in Africa where 80% of cases are living and dying without assistant”. This event had also been supported by the OSCAR Sandwell in West Bromwich through their Centre Manager Ms. Rachel McFee who was their representative at this meeting.

Mr. Georges Tankou, ASYABI Secretary, in his word of welcome had thank you the importance, which is given to sickle cell by several scientists and personalities through the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Sickle Cell and Thalassaemia (APPG), in which some MPs are involved to defend and raised Parliament awareness of this condition. He took that opportunity to thank this institution for their work, which clearly contribute to the strengthen of the Network of Sickle Cell Organisations across the UK through the meeting that they are sometimes holding around sickle cell in the House of Common and this year, the ASYABI has had this privilege to be invited to the November 2010 meeting that Mrs. Diana Abbott, MP and Chair of this institution will be holding to discuss the changes that are taking place in the NHS and how these will affect patients with sickle cell and thalassaemia. The video of this event will be soon available in our website in the beginning of December 2010.

Report made by,
The Communication Team of the ASYABI,