World Sickle Cell Day: Expert tasks new mothers on new born screening

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Prof. Obiageli Nnodu, the Director, Centre of Excellence for Sickle Cell Disease Research and Training

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PROF. Obiageli Nnodu, the Director, Centre of Excellence for Sickle Cell Disease Research and Training (CESRTA), has called on newly delivered mothers to take new born screening for sickle cell seriously for healthy living.

Nnodu made the call in a workshop on ”New Born Screening” to commemorate the 2021 World Sickle Cell Day Celebration at University of Abuja in Gwagwalada on Thursday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the World Sickle Cell Day was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2008 to increase awareness about the sickle-cell disease and its cure.

NAN reports that the workshop was organised by the University of Abuja, Gwagwalada, in collaboration with the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA)

She said that the burden of sickle-cell disease could be controlled and averted if people make informed choices based on their knowledge of genotype before marriage.

According to her, sickle-cell disease remains a major public health problem in the country especially at the rural areas due to the low-level of awareness.

“Sickle cell disease is a debilitating condition which can lead to severe health problems like pain, organ damage or failure, infections, stroke, headache, liver problems and so many others.

“Sickle cell disease is also an inherited genetic blood disorder, with Nigeria having the highest burden of the disease in the country.

“We also want to let the young ones know that sickle-cell disease can be controlled if they make informed decisions before choosing partners.

“There is no better time to create awareness than as they are growing up they are also advancing in knowledge.

“The newly delivered mothers in the country should also take new born screening for sickle cell seriously for healthy living.

On his part, Dr Ndaeyo Iwot, the Executive Secretary, FCT Primary Healthcare Board, said that sickle-cell disease could be averted from early age if children were screened and tested.

Iwot, who was represented by Dr Kasimu Tanko said that sickle-cell disease could affect any child irrespective of social and educational status, adding that early dictation could be treated.

According to him, people don’t have to wait till they are about to get married before knowing their genotypes, saying that early detection could reduce the number of children born with sickle-cell disease.

He also advised parents to give their children health education early in life to help them make informed decisions on the dangers associated with sickle-cell disease for healthy living.

A participant, Mr Mohammed Haruna, the vocal person of Primary Healthcare of Kuje Area Council, thanked the organisers for the workshop and called on the newly delivered mothers to go for early screening for a healthier future.

NAN also reports that the participants at the workshop were selected from health institutions and Primary Healthcare centres from the six area councils in the FCT.

NAN

– June 24, 2021 @ 19:00 GMT|

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