By CHIOMA OBINNA
WIth one in four Nigerians living with the sickle cell trait, intending couples with AS genotype have been advised to reconsider the decision to save their unborn children the agony and pains associated with Sickle Cell Disorder, SCD – a well known major health concern to all blacks all over the world. Despite all measures, the disorder has defied eradication.
Chief Medical Director, National Orthopaedic Hospital Igbobi, Lagos, NOHL, Dr. Wahab Yinusa who declared readiness of the health institution to tackle the challenges of SCD called on the government at all levels to make the genotype test free to enable Nigerians the opportunity to dtermine their status.
Yinusa who lamented the pains and the burden of the disorder on families of people living with the disorder said young men and women going into wedlock should check their genotype before hand.
“People with AS should be discouraged from getting married as this is the safest way to eradicate sickle cell anaemia. Such men and women should go for other partners once they discovered they are both AS. Whatever they feel for themselves should be secondary. They should remember the unborn children.”
Yinusa who spoke on the upcoming conference of the hospital beginning tomorrow, at the Pavilion of the NOHL, with the theme : “The Challenges of Sickle Cell Disorder”, said the hospital decided to tackle sickle cell disorder because it has to do with muscular-skeletal conditions arising from an alteration in the structure of amino-acid sequence which affects many Nigerians.
On the appropriate time to check for a child’s genotype, he advised parents to screen their children after six months for early intervention.
He said the the conference would educate professionals and the general public on the need to eliminate SCD through proper counseling through knowledge of the genotype before marriage so that carriers of the sickle cell trait would not marry each other.
Head of Training School, Research and Statistics, Dr. Muna Chira, called for a holistic look at the ailment with a view to finding lasting solution through proper counseling and early genotype testing for before marriage.
He said the focus wouldl be on bone and joint complications of SCD, solutions too refractory chronic leg ulcers, challenges of managing children with SCD, challenges/concerns with economic productivity and longevity in the adult sickle cell patients.
Other are genetic counselling and support for families hurting under the burden of SCD, much more discussions on issues such as dealing with sickle cell crisis, other complications like priapism, rehabilitation of the sickle cell patient and current techniques of control.
Chira urged health professionals to avail themselves of the training workshop as it will form part of awarding credit points for the Continuous Medical Examination (CME) which will be made compulsory before the renewal of their licenses.