From Femi Oyelola, Kaduna
A Group, Sickle Cell Patients Health Promotion Center Scphpc Kaduna has tasked government at all levels to increase awareness on the sickle cell disease to curb its spread in the country.
The Founder of the Center, Hajiya Badiya Magaji Inuwa made the call during the 2020 World Sickle Cell Day celebration in Kaduna Thursday.
According to her, only proper education and enlightenment would save more people from falling victim of the scourge.
This year’s campaign is tagged “Awareness as a tool for the prevention and control of sickle cell disease.“
Hajia Badiya said Nigerians should be encouraged to go for genotype testing, adding that many of those living with the disease are ignorant of it, saying the disease is deadly and costs parents of victims a lot of money.
“Today’s effort is one of the global awareness programmes. Today being the World Sickle Cell Day, we are talking about the fact that decision makers sweep the rule under the carpet as if they are not concerned.
“This should not be so. Nigeria has not less than 170 million people and they should not perpetually be kept in the dark on fact about the disease.
“There should be awareness and screening so that our people would be knowledgeable. Many still hold the erroneous belief that it is spiritual, tradition or caused by witchcraft.
Nigeria has the biggest burden of the scourge globally, hence the need for increased advocacy on its.
prevention, treatment and management.
“We should create awareness about sickle cell the same way we created awareness on HIV/AIDS,” she said.
Speaking on the activities of the Sickle cell Health Promotion Center SCPHPC, She said the center primary objective is to create awareness on the sickle cell manece.
She added that the center also support the patients with free routine drugs.
It would be recalled that World Sickle Cell Day was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2008 in order to increase the awareness about the Sickle Cell Disease and its cure among the common public. It was celebrated on 19th of June every year.