‘150,000 Children Born With Sick Cell Annually In Nigeria’ | Independent Newspapers Limited
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‘150,000 Children Born With Sick Cell Annually In Nigeria’

Posted: Jun 19, 2015 at 6:20 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)
 By Hassan Zaggi, Abuja

Over 40 million Nigerians are said to have sickle cell traits. Also, over 150,000 children are born with sickle cell disease annually and majority of them die before the age of five in Nigeria.

Sickle cell disease is said to affect nearly 100 million people in the world and it is responsible for over 50 per cent of deaths in those with the most severe form of the disease.

Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Health, Linus Awute, disclosed this at a media briefing in Abuja, on Friday, June 27, 2015.

However, in an effort to reduce the incidences of the disease, the Federal Government has concluded plans to train midwives to enable them screen infant immediately they are born at the primary health care facilities.

Awute said: “We want to have occasions whereby the various platforms that we use at the primary healthcare levels will be greatly exploited and whereby the Midwives Service Scheme and the community health extension workers were going to be trained and get their service delivery responsibility expanded.”

He further disclosed that six federal medical centres have been empowered to run dedicated clinics and programmes for the management and control of sickle cell disease in the six geo-political zones of the country.

He, however, warned Nigerians to ensure they know their genotype status before they get married to prevent the harsh realities of having children with the disease.

Carriers of the disease, he explained, usually display no symptoms, but can pass the gene to their offspring.