By Olayinka Latona
FEDERAL government must improve on the nationâ€™s health care system especially to the advantage ofÂ people living with sickle cell disorder.
The call was made by Prof Olu Akinyanju, Chairman of the Sickle Cell Foundation during the first public lecture of the Sickle Cell Club in commemoration of this yearâ€™s World Sickle Cell day.
Akinyanju said life expectancy ofÂ a sickle cell anaemia patient can be improved if enoughÂ resources are in place to cater for their needs.
He refretted that the importance of research is underestimated in Nigeria adding that it was due to quality researchÂ carried out in America that gave room for the present knowledge that has improved the quality of life expectancy in sickle cell anaemia patientsÂ in that country.
WhileÂ the average life expectancy of a person with sickle cell anemia inÂ America has grown to 53 years in the last seven years, the average life expectancy of the average Nigerian is just over 46 years.
â€œIt is a good thing sickle cell anaemia has been given rapt recognition andÂ what we are soliciting now is that there should be funds to facilitate activities to make life longer and better for those with the disorder.
In his lecture titled: â€œProblems with Hips andÂ Shoulders in Sickle Cell Disorderâ€Â Dr. OlurotimiÂ Odunubi, Consultant Special Grade 1 at the National Orthopaedic Hospital, Igbobi, Lagos,Â said problems with hips and shoulders are complications that affect some of the people with sickle cell disorder.
â€œEarly detection means if any patient has pain in any of these areas he or she should go to hospital early enough so that they can examine and localized the pain where the origin is from and focus on that particular area to make a diagnoses.â€ Olurotimi also urged government to look into the possibility of subsidising the cost treatment of hips and shoulders surgery.
He avowed thatÂ Â most of those affected are young children and that government should eitherÂ insure on their behalf as a group or enable they payÂ at government hospitals forÂ their surgery at subsidised rates or the services are offered free of charge.