News

June 19, 2024

Sickle cell, worst of all health disorders – Group

Sickle cell

Mrs Aisha Edward-Maduagwu, National Co-ordinator, Association of People Living with Sickle Cell Disorder says that sickle cell is the worst of all health disorders.

Edward-Maduagwu made this known in an interview with Newsmen in Awka, to mark World Sickle Cell Day.

World Sickle Cell Day is observed every June 19, to raise awareness about sickle cell disease and highlight the challenges that patients and their caregivers face.

The theme of this year’s commemoration is ‘Hope Through Progress: Advancing Care Globally’.

She described sickle cell disease as a genetic disorder in which the red blood cells were shaped abnormally, thereby affecting blood flow, causing pain and tissue damage in the body.

She said: “Sickle Cell is the most serious and worst disorder out of all the health disorders but it is sad that it is not getting adequate attention in our society.

“How come more attention is given to cancer patients than sickle cell whereas we go through the same pains?

“Our government and the society at large need to pay adequate attention to sickle cell disease.

“This is because the patients go through pain and spend so much to stay alive or survive the pains inflicted in them by others,” she said.

Edward-Maduagwu lamented the rate of stigma in the society as persons living with sickle cell disorder were seen as not marriageable, not adoptable and not employable.

“The society is mean and insensitive to the plight of persons living with sickle cell. They are intellectually and academically sound, but no job opportunities for them.

“Our organisation will continue to educate the public on the adverse effects of genotype incompatibilities, and ensure that people get tested for genotype, especially intending marriage couples,” she said.

She commended Gov. Chukwuma Soludo and his wife, for free enrolment of 71 persons living with sickle cell into the state’s health insurance scheme, to reduce the burden of medical bills on patients and their families.

She urged well-meaning individuals and the government to donate a permanent and central sickle cell centre in Anambra.

“We are appealing for support to acquire a centre for moral, psychological and emotional management as well as rehabilitation of vulnerable sickle cell patients,” she said.