Friday, March 1, 2024

Sickle cell disorder not death sentence; 150,000 Nigerians born annually with disease: SCFN

Nigeria has one of the highest burdens of sickle cell disease globally, with a significant portion of the population carrying the sickle cell trait.

• June 19, 2023
BABIES IN KANO
NIGERIAN BABIES

The national director of the Sickle Cell Foundation Nigeria (SCFN), Annette Akinsete, has urged persons with the disorder to live meaningful lives because it is not “a death sentence.”

She spoke during a sensitisation and awareness campaign organised by the Coalition of Sickle Cell NGOs under ‘The Red Umbrella Walk for Sickle Cell Disorder’ campaign.

“We want to speak with one voice to carry the information to the people that sickle cell is not a death sentence. It always used to be thought of as an incurable disease, but nowadays, we know that persons with SCD are living longer for decades,” stated Ms Akinsete. “We had a female carrier who died at the age of 94. As long as Sickle Cell carriers are properly treated and properly managed, they can live long, productive lives.”

She noted that the walk on Saturday was a precursor to ‘World Sickle Cell Day’, marked annually on June 19. The walk was held simultaneously in Lagos, Warri, Benin, Ilorin and other states in Nigeria.

Ms Akinsete further urged young people to know their genotype on time before they begin to date, plan for marriage, or have a family of their own.

“Sickle cell is a genetic disorder, so couples need to know how it’s inherited and how to avoid it,” she said. “Sickle cell carriers need basic medications like folic acid, hydroxyurea and malaria prevention medications daily. These medications help to prevent crises in patients.”

The SCFN director also mentioned that there are experimental medications such as arbutamine, which, in the past, patients couldn’t access but are now accessible through clinical trials.

Ms Akinsete advised eating balanced diets, drinking plenty of water, and avoiding excessive exercise and cold and heat.

Toyin Adesola, executive director of Sickle Cell Advocacy And Management Initiative and chairwoman of the Coalition of Sickle Cell NGOs, said sickle cell disease was a major public health concern in Nigeria.

She said Nigeria had one of the highest burdens of sickle cell disease globally, with a significant portion of the population carrying the sickle cell trait.

“It is estimated that over 150,000 children are born with sickle cell disease in Nigeria each year, making it the highest number of newborns affected by the condition in any country,” stated Ms Adesola.

We have recently deactivated our website's comment provider in favour of other channels of distribution and commentary. We encourage you to join the conversation on our stories via our Facebook, Twitter and other social media pages.

More from Peoples Gazette

Katsina State

Politics

Katsina youths pledge to deliver over 2 million votes to Atiku

“Katsina State is Atiku’s political base because it is his second home.”

NSCDC Logo

States

Edo: NSCDC holds passing out parade for trained officers

Mr Agun reaffirmed the commitment of the Edo command of the NSCDC to reducing the risk of disasters and their impact throughout the state.

Health

WHO releases new guidance on hearing aid

WHO Director for the Department for Noncommunicable Diseases said that over 400 million people with hearing loss could benefit from using hearing devices.

Macky Sall

Africa

Senegal: After protests, Macky Sall says election will hold June 2

Mr Sall’s announcement contradicts the opposition candidate’s request for the election to be held before April 2.

political thugs

States

CSOs raise concerns over political thuggery in Ondo

Mr Kalu alleged that political thugs and garage boys are overtaking Ondo, describing the situation as worrisome.

Tinubu, Adeboye

Faith

Tinubu celebrates Adeboye on birthday, thanks him for ‘wise counsel, regular prayers for Nigeria’

The president prays for the continual well-being of the General Overseer and his wife, in addition to many more years in the service of God Almighty.