Kano takes Sickle cell campaign to grassroots

By Acheme Jack, Kano

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Sickle Cell Disease

The Kano State government says it will soon embark on public awareness programmes at the grassroots through the newly created emirates, to educate them on the dangers of Sickle-Cell anemia.

Kano is estimated to have over 400,000 victims with only 31,000 registered patients across hospitals in the state.

During a courtesy call by a delegation of the Sickle Cell Consortium to the government House, the State Governor, Dr. Umar Ganduje said more emphasis would be placed on preventive measures.

Massive public campaign
Governor Ganduje said though efforts had been made in the past to create awareness on how to reduce the spread of the disease, the government is set to collaborate with the Sickle Cell Consortium to embark on massive public campaigns targeted directly at the grassroots on how to prevent the spread of the disease.

“Sickle Cell anemia is something that definitely we need to make awareness to address it’s burdens. Some people use to take the issue of Sickle Cell very lightly more especially the couples when it comes to getting marriage, they simply avoid checking their Genotype,” he stated.

The Governor said that with the creation of the new Emirates, Kano State Government would design a programme with the help of Sickle Cell Consortia where a team of professionals would be going round to meet with people in the community to enlighten them on its preventive measures.

” On these issues regarding the Sickle-Cell anemia, I think the preventive measures are more important than the steps that are usually been taken after its discovery.

” All we want is for you the professionals to come with the media ideas, let us design continuous radio  programmers , design continuous Fliers like what is obtained in the case of HIV, to educate our people on the dangers of Sickle Cell anemia and the way to reduce it, “ Governor Ganduje stated.

The leader of the delegation, Dr. Zubaida Ladan said they were at the Government House as part of advocacy visit on the Sickle Cell disease and the ways to reduce its burdens.

“The main focus of this group is to highlight the burdens of Sickle Cell disease,  to find ways of reducing the burdens. Sickle Cell is a genetic disorder that is inherited through inheritance of the genes from both parents, “she explained.

According to her, the disease has one of the higher prevalence in Kano.

”Out of the six million persons that live with the disease in Nigeria, it is estimated that 400,000 person’s live in Kano. 

“Murtala Muhammad Hospital alone, has 17,000 Sickle Cell Patients that have registered, if you combine Murtala, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Nassarawa and Hasiya Bayero Hospitals, they are estimated at about 31,000 Sickle Cell Patients who are registered to show how the problem is in Kano,” She stressed.

Dr Ladan further explained that every year, about 300,000 babies are born with the disease globally and 50-90% of these babies die before they reach their 5th birth day especially when they live in Sub-sahara Africa due to malaria and other environmental factors.

She assured the Governor that the Consortia was proposing a cost effective solution to reduce the burdens of the disease through the new method of pre-martial screening and new born screening for Sickle Cell.

The Governor was represented by his Deputy, Dr. Nasiru Gawuna.

 

Mercy Chukwudiebere