Experts harp on effective management of sickle cell anaemia
Medical professionals have emphasized the need for effective management of sickle cell disease (SCD) in people to avoid severe health crisis, as well as to avert the disease in offspring.
They opined that majority of the 3.5 per cent growth rate of the sickle cell crisis, which result in going to Emergency Rooms or hospitals can be treated at home, enabling the patients live a long and productive life.
Nigeria is known as the sickle cell capital of the world with the largest population of people with SCD, researches have shown. Speaking at the maiden village meeting, a monthly public health awareness exercise organised by RedConnectNg, a non-governmental organization that addresses health issues; with the theme: “Practical Sessions For Parents and Care givers of Sickle Cell Children”, the medical professionals stressed the need for parents and care givers of patients with the SCD to monitor their conditions seriously and seek adequate medical treatment, as the disease could be deadly if not managed effectively.
The founder, RedConnectNg/public health consultant, Funmi Eko stressed that majority of the populace in Nigeria with the Haemoglobin SS, needs to be educated and informed on knowing their genotype before conception, in order to eradicate the sickle cell circle, as well as not putting their generation at risk.
She noted that prevention would go a long way in saving the lives of children with the disease, as parents should ensure that their children get regular check ups with their doctors, follow treatment prescribed by doctors, prevent infections by taking simple steps and practicing healthy habits, also urging the parents to monitor every treatment procedures administered on their child, as there could be misdiagnosis.
“Parents should have the basic knowledge of the medication given to their children with the sickle cell disease as it saves lives. They have to take up responsibilities on their own and not wait for doctors, because as humans, there are possibilities of mix up in medications, misdiagnosis or placing the wrong card in the wrong file. Parents should keep track of whatever medication is given, ask the medical practitioners important questions about their child’s health,” she said.
Stressing on the need for active steps to combat the disease, Dr. Seye Akinsete, Consultant Paediatrician, Haematologist/Oncologist, said, with about 25 percent of the Nigerian populace having the sickle cell trait, AS, and over 150,000 babies born with the serious condition every year, Nigeria’s population of the disease, by year 2030, could be close to what is presently in the world if all hands are not put together to address and prevent the menace from happening.
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