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Experts seek adequate funding of bone marrow transplant for sickle cell patients

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Sickle shaped red blood cells… PHOTO: University of California, Berkeley, United States (U.S.)

The Vice Chancellor of the University of Abuja, Prof. Michael Adikwu, has stressed the need for more research into the epidemiology of the Sickle Cell disease in order tackle it.

He also posited that if the government funds the final treatment of the disease through bone marrow transplant properly, that might bring an end of the disease in the country.

Speaking at a planning meeting in Abuja, Adikwu observed that 75 per cent of the global burden of Sickle cell disease is in Africa while Nigeria has about 33 per cent of the global burden of the disease.

He noted that the innovation once brought to treat the disease in Nigeria did not progress because of conflict in the system adding that even the drug developed for the management of the disease is not going round the country.

Adikwu revealed that there is a funding from the European Union for sickle research in epidemiology, adding that unless we know the cause of this disease, we cannot address it.

Represented by Prof. Gadzama Amos, the VC said it is good that the churches nowadays insist that before marriage, couples must go for genotype and Human Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV) tests in order to know their status.

He noted that the University of Abuja is doing a lot in the area of finding solution to the challenge of Sickle Cell in the country through the Centre for Sickle Cell Research and training is located in the University.

Adikwu stated: “Some of the scientists that discover the drug for the treatment of Sickle cell (NIPRISAN) in the Nigeria Institute of Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD) are with us at the University of Abuja.”

In her part, the Director of Centre of Excellence for Sickle Cell Disease Research and Training, University of Abuja, Prof. Obiagele Nnodu, noted that the meeting was aimed at finding out the complications sickle cell patients are having in order to plan the necessary interventions and know how to reduce the burden in the country.”


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