Sickle cell: NGO advocates compulsory genotype test for Nigerians

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Miss Dee for Sickle Cell Foundation has called for a legislation that would enforce compulsory genotype test for every Nigerian.

The Foundation said it would help prevent the pain associated with sickle cell. 

Globally, September is marked as sickle cell awareness month. 

Sickle cell disease is a group of inherited red blood cell disorders. For millions around the world have their red blood cells become hard and sticky and looked like a C shaped farm tool call a sickle.

The cells commonly become stuck in small blood vessels and block the flow of blood and oxygen to organs in the body, causing severe pain, organ damage, serious infection and stroke. 

The NGOs founder, Miss Adaora Stephanie Nwodo, said government must do more by creating awareness to enlighten Nigerians on the danger of being sickle cell carrier, adding that individuals should also educate their family members, to help stop the pain.

Nwodo stated that the foundation carried out over 1000 free genotype tests and awareness campaign in schools around Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) since its inception in 2009. 

“Also with the help of the former governor of Akwa Ibom state, who is now the Minister of Niger Delta, Goodswill Akpabio, we were able to send our first patient in 2012 to India for skin redrafting surgery and other complications.  

“Since then, we have been managing a few patients around Nigeria that are registered with us, supplying them with their medications monthly. It hasn’t been easy, trust me, but I am determined.

“Sickle cell is a cause I’m extremely passionate about. I grew up in a family where I had relatives who suffered from this disorder. I have lost family members and friends to this ailment and hence, it hits home for me. Sickle cell is a condition that is completely avoidable and preventable.

“Those who suffers this disease which we like to call warriors do not deserve to be born into this life with pain, it was brought upon them by no fault of theirs but ignorance and selfishness of their parents, hence my vow to educate as many Nigerians as I can on the need to know their genotype and the consequences of bringing forth children with sickle cell to the world.”

She disclosed that in its desire to create awareness on the ailment, the Foundation recently produced an awareness movie on sickle cell and life of warriors in Nigeria called the ‘Crescent’ having feature the likes of Senator Dino Melaye, Michelle Dede, Ivie Okujaiye, Yakubu Mohammed, Ayoola Ayola, Iyke Okechukwu, Ifeanyi Kalu, Chioma Omeruah, Tony Goodman, Nadia Butch, Kaziah Omesore and others which was premiered in genesis cinemas in November 2019.

Read the original article HERE

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