By Adakole Auke – Sokoto
The Nigeria Army 8 Div Military Hospital Sokoto on Monday, commenced a 4-day medical outreach with the intention of reaching out to secondary school students across the state on the need to know their genotypes.
Speaking before the official flag-off at the Army Command College, Giginya Barracks, the hospital Director, Col Godwin Ogoh noted that, Nigeria has the highest number of patients with sickle cell anemia in Africa.
“No fewer than 35 million people have sickle cell trail globally and about 300, 000 children are born with sickle cell in Africa, out of which 150, 000 of these children are in Nigeria”, Col Ogoh noted.
Col Ogoh who was represented by Capt Dr. Jonathan Edimek at the flag-off ceremony added that the medical outreach will focus on a free talk on sickle cell, free genotype screening as well as a free consultation.
“Sickle cell anemia is inherited and not communicable and has a high mortality rate. It is no respecter of status. That is why you are supposed to know your genotypes status before marriage.
“There is a 25 percent chance of two adults with AS to have sickle cell offspring and a 25 percent chance of AA children. They also have a 25 per cent chance of SS children and a 50 percent chance of AS children as well.
“Survival rate for Sickle cell patients shows that 20 percent die before 2 years, one third before 5 years and a half between 5 and 30 years old. Therefore to prevent sickle cell is for all to ensure premarital screening and genetic counseling”.
According to Col Ogoh, people should try as much as possible to avoid situations that could lead to sickle cell anemia children hence managing sickle cell is very expensive because it is associated with high mobility, reduction in meeting life expectancy, a huge burden on the family among other challenges.