Medical experts decry neglect of sickle cell patients in Nigeria
Medical experts and other stakeholders yesterday decried the neglect of people living with sickle cell anaemia in Nigeria by governments at all levels.
They urged the federal, states and local governments to support sickle cell patients to alleviate their pain and enable them live a healthy life.
They stated this at the first Sickle Cell Awareness Golf Tournament organised by Presco Oil Plc and the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) to create awareness and raise funds to support the state chapter of the Sickle Cell Club.
The Chief Medical Director of UBTH, Prof. Mike Ibadin expressed concern about the neglect of sickle cell patients and appealed to governments to play their roles to enable other stakeholders contribute their quota.
He said Nigeria has the highest number of sufferers of the disease worldwide, adding that victims could be assisted with necessary support from governments.
Also, the Captain, UBTH Golf Club, Prof. Anthony Monye-Emina, lamented the neglect of sickle cell patients in the country.
“On government support for sickle cell, it is common knowledge that this has been deteriorating over the years. We in UBTH think that it is unacceptable. The people living with the condition, as well as their relations pay tax as citizens.
“The state has the constitutional obligation to support them. We use this opportunity to call on governments at all levels to discharge their responsibility to these members of the society by providing facilities for easy management of sickle cell condition. Government has the duty to bring public consciousness to bear on the need to support the people living with this condition to accept them for what they are, rather than stigmatising them,” he stated.
Patron of the tournament, Prof. Gregory Akenzua, explained that the golf contest was to reawaken awareness about sickle cell disease and to raise funds to upgrade facilities for comprehensive care for patients at the Sickle Cell Centre in Benin City and UBTH.