Expert seeks increased sickle cell awareness

A health researcher and director of Crimsonbow Sickle Cell Initiative, Miss Timi Edwin, has said the control of sickle cell disorder is being negatively affected by low awareness about the disease.

In a statement on Sunday, Edwin said low awareness that about the disease had led to the increase of sickle cell disorder in Nigeria and Africa.

She said, “The fact that many people have wrong ideas about the nature and care of sickle cell disorder has led to a situation where too many people think the disease will automatically lead to death. It has also led to stigmatisation of children who have the disorder.”

Edwin added that her foundation was partnering the Irish Embassy to raise the awareness of sickle cell disease in Nigeria.

“The programme which started in November 2020 and ends in February 2021 will target 15,000 Nigerians in Oyo, Ondo and Ogun States.  Genotype and blood group tests along with enlightenment campaigns will be held in the three states to create hope for a better future for children with sickle cell disorder.

“Sickle cell anemia is a major genetic disease that affects most countries in the African region. The majority of cases of sickle cell disease are seen in West Africa with Nigeria having the largest burden of sickle cell globally.  Considering the high mortality of those living with sickle cell anemia, the disease places a significant psychological and financial burden on those who live with it and their families. The situation is complicated by the high level of poverty and illiteracy in Nigeria,” she said.

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