Federal Medical Centre Holds Awareness Rally For Sickle Cell Disorder | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Federal Medical Centre Holds Awareness Rally For Sickle Cell Disorder

Sickle Cell Disorder
Posted: Jul 3, 2016 at 5:50 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

Chioma Umeha
Lagos-Nigeria has the largest population of people with Sickle Cell Disease in the world with over 150,000 babies born with the condition every year, studies show.
Similarly, research confirms that two people with Hb genotypes, AS and AS have a one in four chance (25 per cent chance) of having a baby with Sickle Cell Disorder in every pregnancy.
To this effect, the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Ebute Metta, Lagos, organised a rally recently, to create awareness on the importance of knowing one’s genotype and how to manage the Sickle Cell health disorder.
The rally, which took participants into the inner streets of Ebute-Metta, served as an invitation to free screenings organised by FMC the following weekend.
One in every Nigerian has the sickle cell trait, but not the disease; this is according to Mr. usman Olagoke, family physician at FMC. He emphasised that the sickle cell disease is as a result of unusual hemoglobin, it is a genetic disorder inherited from both parents. He further stressed that the disorder has reached an alarming state and it is now a public health issue.
Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a major genetic disease in most countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. In recognition of this, the World Health Organisation (WHO) supervises and coordinates interventions relating to the prevention and management of SCD.
WHO intends to support primary prevention (genetic counselling, general public knowledge); Early detection – screening; reduce morbidity ; chemoprophylaxis, vaccines, clinical care of special groups (children, pregnant women); capacity building Human resource; improve quality of life of patients and build partnerships.
Sickle-cell disease (SCD) is a genetic blood disorder that affects the haemoglobin within the red blood cells. The recurrent pain and complications caused by the disease can interfere with many aspects of the patient’s life, including education, employment and psychosocial development.
The sickle-cell trait is now known to be widespread, reaching its highest prevalence in parts of Africa as well as among people with origins in equatorial Africa, the Mediterranean basin and Saudi Arabia.
In Africa, the highest prevalence of sickle-cell trait occurs between latitudes 15° North and 20° South, ranging between 10 per cent and 40 per cent  of the population in some areas.
Those who inherit the gene from both parents do not have this protection. In addition, they suffer from severe effects of SCD and many die before they reach reproductive age.
In some countries where SCD is a major public health concern, control programmes do exist; however, these have neither the national coverage nor basic facilities to manage patients. Systematic screening for SCD using a simple blood test is not a common practice, and diagnosis is usually made when a severe complication occurs.