By Chioma Obinna & Olayinka Latona
The government has been called upon to improve on the health care system of the nation, especially in the management and treatment ofÂ people living with sickle cell disorder.
This call was made byÂ Professor Olu Akinyanju, the chairman, Sickle Cell Foundation of Nigeria during a briefing in commemoration of the World Sickle Cell Day scheduled for tomorrow.
Prof. Akinyanju said life expectancy of sickle cell anaemia patient can be improved if both federal, state governments and individuals can put resources together.
According to him, â€œif people with sickle cell disorder are properly managed, with adequate treatment, they can live longer. There are some patients with the disorder who are happily living with children.
The government should do something, and if nothing is done there will not beÂ improvement. As you know, the Sickle Cell Foundation cannot buy drugs for virtually all sickle cell disorder patients in Nigeria. The government should draw its attention to the issue of sickle cell disorder.â€
Speaking further, the sickle cell foundation chairman noted thatÂ the average life expectancy of somebody with sickle cell anemia in America has grown to 53 years in the last seven years while the average life expectancy of the average Nigerian is 46.7 years.
Adding that Nigeria has largest burden of sickle cell disorder in the whole world with about 150,000 Nigerian children born each year with sickle cell anaemia.