Foundation tasks govt on implementation of sickle cell policy

Sickle cell patient

Sickle cell patient

The chairman of Tonymay Foundation, Chief Andrew Otokihina, has called for more awareness on sickle cell disorder, advising would-be-couples to have good knowledge of their genotype before going into marriage.

Speaking at the 2015 World Sickle Cell Day in Lagos recently, he said, “we are using this special day to educate the public and provide useful information about the sickle cell disorder”.

He said awareness and knowledge would prevent offsprings from being carriers of sickle cell, and by so doing reduce the number of sufferers in the country.

According to him, the major setback in the fight against sickle cell disorder in the country includes lack of adequate information, adding that, studies have shown that in Nigeria, one out of four persons carries the sickle cell trait HB-AS, and over 150,000 babies born each year have sickle anaemia. Most of these children do not survive their infancy age due to lack of care, ignorance and misinformation.

Otokihina advised intending couple to avoid breeding children with Hb-AS trait because “parents with Hb-AS cell are likely to give birth to children with the same cell trait”, with its attendant pains, agonies and possible premature death.

Chris Okhuihievbe, who led the awareness campaign, said the disease was a challenge to mankind as it could drain the life earnings of individual sufferers or their parents.

He said the deaths recorded as a result of the disease have been attributed to poor medical care, mismanagement, delay and poverty.

“We need quick intervention of the government, especially in the area of policy implementation, for quick and immediate attention for patients at hospitals”.

He, however, called for the adequate funding for doctors willing to acquire knowledge abroad on the management and care for people with sickle cell disorder at a time of complication.

He advocated a better understanding and care for the sickle cell carriers, especially at their crises period.

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