The Federal Government in its fight against Sickle Cell Anaemia has established six sickle cell reference centres in the six Federal Medical Centres (FMCs) across the country.
The Minister of Health Prof Isaac Adewole made this known in a statement issued by his Director of Media and Public Relations, Mrs Boade Akintola, urging health partners to support the Government’s efforts in tackling Non Communicable Diseases (NCD). The Minister urged more partners to come on board to join hands with the government in fighting the various diseases in the country.
Professor Isaac expressed his appreciation to the partners, who were working with the Ministry of Health on diabetes care and prevention. He listed the FMCs as the Federal Medical Centres, Ebute Meta, Lagos; Federal Medical Centre, Keffi and the Federal Medical Centre, Gombe. Others are the Federal Medical Centre, Yenagoa; Federal Medical Centre, Birnin-Kebbi and Federal Medical Centre, Abakaliki.
“I wish to passionately appeal to all partners to support the ministry to conduct National Survey so as to establish the current prevalence of NCDs for sound policy direction and planning in Nigeria,” Adewole said.
Sickle cell disease is a group of disorders that affects hemoglobin, the molecule in red blood cells that delivers oxygen to cells throughout the body. People with this disorder have atypical hemoglobin molecules called hemoglobin S, which can distort red blood cells into a sickle, or crescent, shape.
Signs and symptoms of sickle cell disease usually begin in early childhood. Characteristic features of this disorder include a low number of red blood cells (anemia), repeated infections, and periodic episodes of pain. The severity of symptoms varies from person to person. Some people have mild symptoms, while others are frequently hospitalized for more serious complications. 75% of all Sickle Cell Disease patience are in Sub Saharan Africa, Nigeria alone accounts for 100,000 new births yearly.