‘Gov­ern­ment must give at­ten­tion to sickle cell dis­or­der’

The Punch - - AM BUSINESS - Dayo Ojerinde

Amed­i­cal doc­tor with Eko Hos­pi­tal Ikeja, Dr Emoruwa Oyefo, has called on the gov­ern­ment to give at­ten­tion to the man­age­ment and care for non- com­mu­ni­ca­ble dis­eases like sickle cell dis­or­der.

Oyefo dur­ing an en­light­en­ment pro­gramme or­gan­ised by Crim­son Bow Sickle Cell Ini­tia­tive in part­ner­ship with Mushin Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment said that Nige­ria has the largest pop­u­la­tion of sickle cell car­ri­ers in the world with about five mil­lion sickle cell chil­dren.

“It is un­der­stand­able that com­mu­ni­ca­ble dis­eases like HIV/AIDS can spread faster and claim many lives within a short pe­riod of time and this ac­counts for quick at­ten­tion of­ten paid by the gov­ern­ment to ar­rest the spread, nev­er­the­less non- com­mu­ni­ca­ble dis­eases can also claim many lives if enough is not done to stop it.

“The rea­son why sickle cell disease does not get much fund­ing is be­cause it does not af­fect the whole world. It af­fects Africa and some part of Asia, so it does not at­tract much at­ten­tion from med­i­cal re­searchers. It does not get ad­e­quate fund­ing com­pared with a huge pop­u­la­tion of sickle cell suf­fer­ers,” Oyefo said.

She called on the fed­eral gov­ern­ment to es­tab­lish more sickle cell care cen­ters around the coun­try and also step up en­light­en­ment pro­grammes to let more par­ents know what they can do to help chil­dren with sickle cell dis­or­der.

On the pre­ven­tion of sickle cell dis­or­der, Oyefo stressed the need for every­one to know their geno­type by go­ing for a test. “The whole essence of geno­type test is to en­able the chil­dren to know who they can marry when they grow up be­cause the most def­i­nite form of pre­ven­tion is for the right type of geno­type to be matched to­gether.

The Chair­man Mushin Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Area, Mr. Em­manuel Bamg­boye ad­vised mothers to ad­here to the guide­lines given to them and avoid mix­ing tra­di­tional medicine with mod­ern medicine when tak­ing care of their chil­dren.

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