Sickle cell: Experts proff er on curable measures

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As the move to eliminate the sickle anaemia disorder intensifi es, some experts, scholars and religious leaders have enumerated some survival mechanisms for suff erers.

Th e experts, who spoke at the occasion of public hearing on the Bill to repeal the 2002 Anambra state sickle cell disease (Control and Eradication) law, 2016, held recently at Anambra state House of Assembly complex, stressed that the disorder was curable but “requires a collaborative eff ort of the general public, policy makers, parents and intending couples.

’ A Consultant Hematologist at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital (NAUTH), Dr.  Ifeoma Ajuba, said four options available to intending couples “who are carriers of the sickle cell anaemia, but never want their child to inherit the genes are preimplantation genetic, genetic testing and counselling; invitro genetic diagnoses; stem cell transplantation or bone marrow transplantation; and adoption.

” Th e Public Health Service Director, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Prof.  Ifeoma Modebe, said: “Politicians and clerics have greater roles to play to ensuring that the message of prevention of sickle cell anemia disorder and education are propagated to all and sundry.

Community participation should also be included in the bill so that eff ective plan for workable prevention would be developed.

” Chaplain, Association of people living with sickle cell disorder (APLSCD), Rev.  Fr. Obiora Okeke, said the church should be a stakeholder in whatever legislation to be made to protect people suff ering from sickle cell disorder as it was also the greatest benefactor of them.

“Th ey should use the bishops as trusties of what is meant for these people because most often people working for government takes whatever that is meant for them and pocket it.

I want the issue of unorthodox medical practitioners who make a lot of claims to stop, if not, people will keep on dyeing,” he said.

Similarly, the Commissioner for Health, Dr Joe Akabuike, represented by Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to Governor Willie Obiano on General Hospitals, Nwamaka Arinze-Okog, charged teachers of all schools in the state to join to inculcating sickle cell awareness into their pupils and students.

Earlier, the Speaker, House of Assembly, Rita Maduagwu, represented by Timothy Ifedioramma, the membesaid: “It is a great challenge as a people and to our health sector.

It is preventable and could be eradicated if the right steps are taken.

Th is generation can stop this disease.

Need to counsel couples before marriage must be emphasised.

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