By Chioma Obinna
Irked that over 150,000 children are born every year in Nigeria with symptomatic Sickle Cell Anaemia, the Sickle Cell Club of Lagos has called for research into various fronts especially on the immediate causes of severe pain crises in people living with the disorder. President of the Club, Mrs. Ayo Otaigbe who spoke during their annual celebration, said despite many medical advancements,SCD was still not well understood.
Otaigbe said the research should take care of the rational therapy so that not simply analgesics can be applied with the objective of effectively aborting or preventing their occurrence. Noting the high burden, Otaigbe decried the apathy towards people living with SCD in Africa. She said part of their plans for 2016 wase to consolidate on successes recorded as well as increase the level of awareness of services at the National Sickle Cell Foundation and other health facilities in the country.
Further, she said the Club would continue to draw attention to the importance of Transcranial Doppler Scan in children with SCD in order to reduce the incidence of strokes in affected children.
“The debilitating complication can impede their mobility and impair their intellectual ability. However, stroke can be prevented if children at risk can be identified early with ICD ultrasound scan. Children aged 2 to 16 years are most vulnerable and are hence invited to benefit it from this procedure on Mondays to Fridays.”
Otaigbe stressed the need for genetic counselling adding that families and individuals at risk who have gone through the counselling are better able to cope with the disorder. She said plans are afoot to begin a bone marrow transplant at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, Idiaraba, Lagos. Already the Club has contacted Mediterranean Institute for Haematology in Rome, Italy to give free BMT to 45 children.