By Vincent Ujumadu
Awka—ANAMBRA State government says it will partner churches in the state to ensure that intending couples verified their genotype before marriage to avoid issues of sickle cell disease.
The state governor, Chief Willie Obiano, who spoke through his commissioner for health, Dr. Joe Akabuike at a ceremony to mark this year’s sickle cell day in Awka, said it was part of the state government’s efforts to eradicate sickle cell disease.
According to him, churches would play a major role in the fight against the spread of sickle cell disease because of their involvement in joining people as husbands and wives.
The governor maintained that his administration would implement to the letter the Sickle Cell law passed by the State House of Assembly in 2002, which was aimed at mandating intending couples to verify their genotype before marriage.
He insisted that couples who would violate the law would be denied certain privileges by the state government, adding that involving the churches would ensure strict compliance to the law.
The governor said the state government would set up sickle cell clinics in the three senatorial districts of the state with state- of- the- art facilities and explained that people living with sickle cell disorder would be treated free of-charge under a Health Insurance Scheme that would be launched in the state soon.
He said: “In the Health Insurance Scheme, there is also a provision for treating free of-charge, the vulnerable, including people living with sickle cell disorder as our main target is to eradicate sickle cell anemia completely in this state and that is why we are urging everybody to know his/her genotype.”