Maduagwu tasks intending couples on genotype status testing before marriage
National Coordinator, Association of People Living with Sickle Cell Disorder, Mrs. Aisha Maduagwu, has urged intending couples to be conscious of their genotype status before entering into marriage, as a means of reducing the rate of sickle cell anemia cases in the country.
She gave the advice at the official commissioning of a facility for the management and treatment of sickle cell disease, donated by the wife of the Imo State Police Commissioner and Chairperson of the state Chapter of the Police Officers Wives Association (POWA), Hajiya Habiba Barde, held in Owerri at the weekend.
Maduagwu, who is also the Director, Sickle Cell Orphanage and Underprivileged Home, Agulu, Anambra State, and a guest speaker at the event, shared some experiences of herself as a sickle cell carrier.
She recalled anxieties experienced by families and homes, where there are sickle cell patients, and urged stakeholders to intensify effort towards addressing the prevalence of the disease.
She decried what she described as halfhearted attitudes of health personnel in the treatment and management of sickle cell patients, noting that majority of patients are being exploited rather than given desired attention, especially in the rural areas.
Recommending ways of tackling the menace, she said: “A legal framework, which would drive essential mechanisms for sickle cell eradication, should be provided in every strata of government. Also, the law enforcement agencies should ensure strict compliance with the sickle cell law where it is necessary and needed.
“Genotype education and sensitisation have become essential to the eradication of sickle cell disease.
“Intending couples should be knowledgeable of their genotype status and the inherent implications before going into marriage.”