NGOs want sickle cell cases handled as emergency
Chairman, Coalition of Sickle Cell NGOs in Nigeria and Executive Director, Sickle Cell Advocacy and Management Initiatives, Toyin Adesola, has called on government to come up with a policy that ensures doctors have a grasp of what it takes to treat a person with sickle cell, noting that hospitals should admit sickle cell cases as emergencies.
Adesola, who spoke yesterday at a walk to kick-off activities marking this year’s World Sickle Cell Day, slated for June 19, said creating awareness about sickle cell has become very germane, because Nigeria has the highest number of sickle cell cases in the world, with about 150,000 births every year.
“The awareness is about breaking stigma, so that people will be more aware. The notion that a sickle cell person dies before 21 years is incorrect. I am over 50. And like me, there are other people living well with sickle cell, who are over 70 years.”
The walk started at Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, through Ogunlana Drive, and back to the stadium.
Adesola maintained that with proper management and healthcare, persons living with sickle cell would live longer.
“That is why we want private organisations and governments to get involved in healthcare for people with sickle cell.”
She advised sickle cell patients to watch what they eat, take appropriate drugs and do regular check ups at hospitals.
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