‘I USED TO QUERY GOD, ‘WHY ME?!!’
The saying, ‘necessity is the mother of invention’ has become so worn it has turned into a platitude. Yet no other words can be used to describe the advent of J-VITE into the family of herbal therapies for the management of sickle cell.
Of the three children born to Mr. and Mrs. Olajide, two were diagnosed with sickle cell anaemia. Few young parents had the time, energy, financial and emotional resources to raise one child with sickle cell, not to talk of two!
‘I used to look up to heaven and say, ‘God, why me?!’’ Mrs. Ibijoke Olajide told guests at the Mainland Leisure View Hotel, where her company, Verdant Olives, presented J-VITE to the public November 17.
The first-born of the Olajides was more severely affected than the second-born – nevertheless, the unpredictability of SCD exerted a toll on the family’s emotional equilibrium. Only the last-born of the family was unaffected (his genotype is AA).
The children came down with malaria despite every precaution, including the administration of malaria prophylaxis. The orthodox treatments for malaria landed the family in worse trouble than it aimed to alleviate.
‘Orthodox treatments for malaria almost invariable triggered sickle cell crises for the children,’ says Mrs. Olajide.
Hydroxyurea was prescribed as a life saver. Unfortunately, the life saver, like the antimalarials, turned out just the opposite.
‘Hydroxyurea almost did us in,’ recalls the loving mom turned herbal practitioner. ‘It was crises after crises without respite – orthodox medicine failed us in a big way!’
Turning To Nature
The family had no option than to turn to what is essentially the first – and last – resort for most people in Africa – traditional medicine. The family had no idea that a western-trained orthodox medical practitioner and founder, Tayo Awosika Help Foundation (TAHF), Dr. Olubayode Awosika once observed that the solution to SCD was there in the African forest, only waiting to be discovered.
Suffused by the desire to help her children live a healthy crises-free life, Mrs. Olajide went foraging online and offline, searching and researching. Had she been a university scholar, her term paper would have been entitled something like Botanical and Medicinal Herbs For Sickle Cell.
The result of the consuming maternal drive to reprieve her family from the hobgoblin of SCD is J-VITE, produced by her company, Verdant Olives. J-VITE is of two varieties, one to address sickling, the other strictly for malaria.