CNNInternational interview with Nigeria'sPresident Obasanjo and USAfricaonline.com Publisher Chido Nwangwu onDemocracyand Security Issues


According to the Sickle Cell Society the disorder affects the redblood cells which contain a special protein called haemoglobin (Hbfor short). The function of haemoglobin is to carry oxygen from thelungs to all parts of the body. People with Sickle Cell Anaemia haveSickle haemoglobin (HbS) which is different from thenormal haemoglobin (HbA). When sickle haemoglobin gives up its oxygento the tissues, it sticks together to form long rods inside the redblood cells making these cells rigid and sickle-shaped. Normal redblood cells can bend and flex easily. Because of their shape, sickledred blood cells can't squeeze through small blood vessels as easilyas the almost donut-shaped normal cells. This can lead to these smallblood vessels getting blocked which then stops the oxygen fromgetting through to where it is needed. This in turn can lead tosevere pain and damage to organs. Everyone has two copies of the genefor haemoglobin; one from their mother and one from their father. Ifone of these genes carries the instructions to make sicklehaemoglobin (HbS) and the other carries the instructions to makenormal haemoglobin (HbA) then the person has Sickle Cell Trait and isa carrier of the sickle haemoglobingene.

HEALTH CARE AND BLACK HISTORY: CELEBRATINGTHE CONTRIBUTIONS OF ROLAND SCOTT
By U.S. Senator JimTalent

Roland Boyd Scott was determined to help treatSickle Cell Disease, the most common genetic disease affectingAfrican-Americans, but first he had to make another breakthrough. 

Dr. Scott, an African-American physicianworking on sickle cell research since the early 1940s, was among thefirst black doctors granted "privileges" at such medical facilitiesas Children's and Providence hospitals at a time when The WashingtonPost reported that more than a few hospitals had an "unwritten banagainst Negro physicians."  By the end of his life, hiscontributions to Sickle Cell Disease treatment and education wouldearn him international acclaim as the preeminent authority on thedisease.
February is Black History Month and Dr. Scott's accomplishments inthe field of health care deserve to beremembered.


Born in Texas, he spent his early years inHouston, and Kansas City, Missouri.  He received a bachelor'sdegree from Howard University in Washington, D.C., and in 1934 hegraduated from its medical school.  Dr. Scott interned atGeneral Hospital in Kansas City, and completed his pediatricresidency at Provident Hospital in Chicago.  In 1939, Dr. Scottwas appointed Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Howard University. This appointment marked the beginning of his career of serviceand teaching at Howard where he would eventually find his life's workresearching Sickle Cell Disease.

Millions of Americans, mostlyAfrican-Americans, have the Sickle Cell Disease trait.  It isnot only the most common genetic disease affecting African-Americans,it is the most common life-threatening disease that is uniformlyscreened for in all American newborns, regardless of race. About1 in 300 newborn African-American infants are born with thedisease.

People with the disease have red bloodcells that contain an abnormal type of hemoglobin.  These cellshave a sickle shape that has difficulty passing through small bloodvessels.  Tissue that does not receive a normal blood floweventually becomes damaged to cause potentially life-threateningcomplications.  A stroke is the most feared complication forchildren with Sickle Cell Disease, and may affect infants as young as18 months old.  While some patients live without symptoms foryears, many others do not survive infancy or early childhood. 

When he began his service at Howard in1939, Sickle Cell Disease research was relatively in its infancy. After noticing many children being admitted to the hospitalwith symptoms associated with Sickle Cell Disease, Dr. Scott beganhis study of the issue.  

Dr. Scott's first publication on thedisease, a 1948 report on the incidence of red cell sickling innewborn infants, was not only the first of its kind, but it also laidthe groundwork for the newborn screening programs which would bestarted more than two decades later.  He was the first to reportgrowth and development norms for healthy African-American childrenwhich became a nationwide standard.  
He published hundreds of articles on the disease and treatmentmethods.  Among his biggest challenges were educating parentsabout their children's disease and persuading the government toprovide funding for research.  

Dr. Scott succeeded in advocating forpassage of the Sickle Cell Anemia Control Act of 1971, which wassigned into law to provide federal funding to nationwide researchcenters.  He established the nation's first Center for SickleCell Disease at Howard in 1972, made possible with a grant from theNational Institutes of Health, and served as its director until hisretirement.  

Asked to name his single greatestachievement regarding Sickle Cell Disease, he said demonstrating thatAfrican-Americans are not the only ones with the disease. Sickle Cell also affects people of Hispanic, Mediterranean andMiddle Eastern ancestry as well as Caucasians.  

Dr. Scott died on December 10, 2002, at age93.  His groundbreaking research, interest and dedication to thestudy and care of patients with Sickle Cell Disease accuratelyrepresents him as the "father" of Sickle Cell Disease research in theUnited States.

The Congress has an opportunity this yearto continue Dr. Scott's legacy on behalf of the thousands of peoplewho suffer from Sickle Cell Disease.  It's been more than 30years since the Congress took significant steps to increase resourcesfor Sickle Cell Disease treatment and research.  U.S. SenatorCharles Schumer(D-NY) and I have sponsored the Sickle Cell Disease Treatment Act. This bipartisan legislation would provide additional fundingfor Sickle Cell Disease-related services under Medicaid, allow statesto receive a federal match for non-medical expenses related totreatment, authorize grant programs for 40 nationwide health centersto educate and treat patients and establish a national center tocoordinate research efforts to find a cure.

The Sickle Cell Disease Association ofAmerica, the NAACP, the American Medical Association, the NationalAssociation of Children's Hospitals and many others support thelegislation.

Passing this bill would be an appropriatetribute to Dr. Scott and the dedicated physicians around the country,like Dr. Michael DeBaun at St. Louis Children's Hosptial and Dr.Gerald Woods, Chief of Hematology/Oncology at Children's MercyHospital, who are working to help families living with thisdisease.
Sen. Jim Talent (R-Mo.) was elected to serve Missouri in the U.S.Senate in November 2002.  He is a member of the Armed Services,Agriculture, Energy and Aging Committees. Previously, he served inthe U.S. House of Representatives (1993-2001) and the Missouri House(1985-1992).


USAfrica POLICY DEBATE
Bush,if not Affirmative Action, then what: Reparations?:Affirmative Action has worked for the last 30 years to create a Blackmiddle class. It has helped to integrate the American society and totruly diversify the American culture. It also has served to helpnurture the socialization and the psychosocial development of Blackpeople in this country. It was through affirmative education thatBlack people finally were able to assimilate into the Americanmainstream; but now the president wants to end the one social programin the history of America that even came close to the closing of thegaps of racism. No other program has had as much success.....Affirmative Action is about attempts to bring historicallyunderrepresented groups who have suffered discrimination into ahigher degree of participation within the society. Affirmative Actionattempts to remedy some of the vile-ness by allowing for opportunity,chance and redress of being historically taken advantage of by thestate all because of the color of ones skin. Bush has proposednothing to replace the progress of Affirmative Action. While hecertainly is no visionary; he still must be aware of the tremendousstrides that have been made because of the bold action taken by theAffirmativeAction. By Dr. G.W Sanders

Osama bin-Laden's goons threaten Nigeria and Africa's stability. By Chido Nwangwu, USAfricaonline.com Publisher.


NEWS INVESTIGATION: The Marc Rich Oil Deals in Nigeria
OIL in NIGERIA: Liquid Gold or Petro-Dollars Curse?


Should Africa debates begin and end at The New York Times and The Washington Post? No
Why Bush should focus on
dangers facing Nigeria's return to democracy and Obasanjo's slipperyslide.
How Obasanjo's self-succession charade at his Ota Farm has turned Nigeria to an 'Animal Farm.' By USAfricaonline.com contributor Prof. Mobolaji Aluko
Obasanjo's late wake to the Sharia crises, Court's decision and Nigeria's democracy. By Ken Okorie
Obasanjo's own challenge is to imbibe "democratic spirit and practice," By Prof. Ibiyinka Solarin
Is Obasanjo really up to Nigeria's challenge and crises? By USAfrica The Newspaper editorial board member, attorney Ken Okorie. This commentary appears courtesy of our related web site, NigeriaCentral.com
Obasanjo's late wake to the Sharia crises, Court's decision and Nigeria's democracy. By Ken Okorie

Sharia-related killings and carnage in Kaduna reenact deadly prologue to Nigeria-Biafra war of 1967. By Chido Nwangwu.
Jonas Savimbi, UNITA are "terrorists" in Africans' eyes despite Washington's "freedom fighter" toga for him. By SHANA WILLS

Nelson Mandela, Tribute to the world's political superstar and Lion of Africa  
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's burden mounts with murder charges, trials

DIPLOMACY Walter Carrington: African-American diplomat who put principles above self for Nigeria (USAfrica's founder Chido Nwangwu with Ambassador Carrington at the U.S. embassy, Nigeria)
DEMOCRACY'S WARRIOR
Out of Africa. The cock that crows in the morning belongs to one household but his voice is the property of the neighborhood. -- Chinua Achebe, Anthills of the Savannah. An editor carries on his crusade against public corruption and press censorship in his native Nigeria and other African countries. By John Suval.
ARINZE: Will he be the FIRST BLACK AFRICAN POPE? By Chido Nwangwu
HUMAN RIGHTS AND DEMOCRACY
How far, how deep will Nigeria's human rights commission go?
Rtd. Gen. Babangida trip as emissary for Nigeria's Obasanjo to Sudan raises curiosity, questions about what next in power play?
110 minutes with Hakeem Olajuwon
Nigerian stabbed to death in his bathroom in Houston.
Cheryl Mills' first class defense of Clinton and her detractors' game 
It's wrong to stereotype Nigerians as Drug Dealers

Private initiative, free market forces, and more democratization are Keys to prosperity in Africa


Apple announces Titanium, "killer apps" and other ground-breaking products for 2001. iTunes makes a record 500,000 downloads.
Steve Jobs extends
digital magic

Johnnie Cochran will soon learn that defending Abacha's loot is not as simple as his O.J Simpson's case. By Chido Nwangwu

USAfrica The Newspaper voted the "Best Community Newspaper" in the 4th largest city in the U.S., Houston. It is in the Best of Houston 2001 special as chosen by the editors and readers of the Houston Press, reflecting their poll and annual rankings.

APPRECIATION
A young father writes his One year old son: "If only my heart had a voice...."



TRIBUTE
A KING FOR ALL TIMES: Why Martin Luther King's legacy and vision are relevant into 21st century.



Why Chinua Achebe, the Eagle on the Iroko, is Africa's writer of the century. By Chido Nwangwu


Since 1958, Achebe's "Things Fall Apart" set a standard of artistic excellence, and more. By Douglas Killam
DEMOCRACY DEBATE
CNN International debate on Nigeria's democracy livecast on CNN. It involved Nigeria's Information Minister Prof. Jerry Gana, Prof. Salih Booker and USAfricaonline.com Publisher Chido Nwangwu. Transcripts are available on the CNN International site.

USAfrica The Newspaper voted the "Best Community Newspaper" in the 4th largest city in the U.S., Houston. It is in the Best of Houston 2001 special as chosen by the editors and readers of the Houston Press, reflecting their poll and annual rankings.

Tragedy of Ige's murder is its déjà vu for the Yoruba southwest and rest of Nigeria. By Ken Okorie
What has Africa to do with September 11 terror? By Chido Nwangwu
Should Africa debates begin and end at The New York Times and The Washington Post? No
NEWS INSIGHT
CNN, Obasanjo and Nigeria's struggles with democracy.
Why Obasanjo's government should respect
CNN and Freedom of the press in Nigeria.
Jonas Savimbi, UNITA are "terrorists" in Africans' eyes despite Washington's "freedom fighter" toga for him. By SHANA WILLS


Lifestyle
Sex, Women and (Hu)Woman Rights. By Chika Unigwe

Africa suffers the scourge of the virus. This life and pain of Kgomotso Mahlangu, a five-month-old AIDS patient (above) in a hospital in the Kalafong township near Pretoria, South Africa, on October 26, 1999, brings a certain, frightening reality to the sweeping and devastating destruction of human beings who form the core of any definition of a country's future, its national security, actual and potential economic development and internal markets.
22 million Africans HIV-infected, ill with AIDS while African leaders ignore disaster-in-waiting

What has Africa to do with September 11 terror? By Chido Nwangwu
Africans reported dead in terrorist attack at WTC
September 11 terror and the ghost of things to come....
Will religious conflicts be the time-bomb for Nigeria's latest transition to civilian rule?
Bola Ige's murder another danger signal for Nigeria's nascent democracy.

In a special report a few hours after the history-making nomination, USAfricaonline.com Founder and Publisher Chido Nwangwu places Powell within the trajectory of history and into his unfolding clout and relevance in an essay titled 'Why Colin Powell brings gravitas, credibility and star power to Bush presidency.'

AFRICA AND THE U.S. ELECTIONS
Beyond U.S. electoral shenanigans, rewards and dynamics of a democratic republic hold lessons for African politics.
CONTINENTAL AGENDA
Bush's position on Africa is "ill-advised." The position stated by Republican presidential aspirant and Governor of Texas, George Bush where he said that "Africa will not be an area of priority" in his presidency has been questioned by USAfricaonline.com Publisher Chido Nwangwu. He added that Bush's "pre-election position was neither validated by the economic exchanges nor geo-strategic interests of our two continents."

These views were stated during an interview CNN's anchor Bernard Shaw and senior analyst Jeff Greenfield had with Mr. Nwangwu on Saturday November 18, 2000 during a special edition of 'Inside Politics 2000.'
Nwangwu, adviser to the Mayor of Houston (the 4th largest city in the U.S., and immigrant home to thousands of Africans) argued further that "the issues of the heritage interests of 35 million African-Americans in Africa, the volume and value of oil business between between the U.S and Nigeria and the horrendous AIDS crisis in Africa do not lend any basis for Governor Bush's ill-advised position which removes Africa from fair consideration" were he to be elected president.
By Al Johnson