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40m Nigerian Suffer Sickle Cell Anaemia

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Kunle Emmanuel
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40m Nigerian Suffer Sickle Cell Anaemia

Unread post by Kunle Emmanuel » Sun Nov 06, 2016 6:39 pm

No fewer than 40 million Nigerians are currently suffering from Sickle Cell Anaemia, according to the president, Sickle Cell Society, Ireland (SCSI), and Sickle Cell

Awareness Initiative Nigerian-Ireland, Mrs. Esther Pepple Onolememen.

Mrs Onolememem further warned that the situation could worsen and become an epidemic if proactive measures are not taken by federal government to check this genetic malady.


Corroborating her position, founder and coordinator of a Kaduna-based non-governmental organization, Sickle Cell Patients Health Promotion Centre (SCPHPC), Hajia Badiya Magaji Inuwa, revealed that she was currently giving care to about 3,000 sickle cell anaemia (SCA) patients in Kaduna without any assistance from government.

She stated that she founded the NGO some years back after one of her two children living with SCA died and this alerted her to the plight of other parents and patients who may not know where to access care.

Speaking during the official global flag-off of the awareness campaign on sickle cell in Kaduna State to sensitise members of the public, Mrs Onolememem, who has two children living with the disease, disclosed that about 300,000 live births of children with the condition are being added annually.

According to her, over 25 percent of adults in Nigeria have the traits of sickle Cell, with an infant mortality rate of about eight percent, and annual growth rate at 3.2 percent.

Sahe said, “The percentage of people living with sickle cell in Nigeria is high. If you look at it statistically, it is high and if you project the next 10 years, more than half of Nigeria’s population will be affected.

“If 40 million Nigerians are affected by sickle cell at the moment that we about 170 million population, that’s huge, and if you look at the number of births each year of carriers, it’s almost 300,000. What does that tell you?

It means that in the next three years alone, we would have about 900,000 births of carriers adding to the 40 million. You find that sickle cell will gradually become an epidemic in Nigeria if there is no response,” she added.

According to her, the only way to reduce the menace is for everyone – government, organisations, individuals and the community – to come together and understand that sickle advocacy is a campaign that calls for improved healthcare, improved research, improved family support, and improved education and awareness.

Speaking with newsmen, Hajiya Badiya Inuwa, restated that the best and sure antidote to sickle cell is awareness. She appealed to governments at all levels to invest in awareness and research that will help the public to understand the cause of sickle cell and start screening chidren at birth so that young Nigerians will be aware of their genotype before going into any relationship that can lead to marriage.

”Research and findings have shown that the antidote to sickle cell anaemia is not in the medical laboratories, but it is in the simple education and enlightenment of our people to do the right thing before marriage.

“If we all follow this simple rule of knowing our genotype before marriage and abiding by it, the occurrence of sickle cell anaemia will be significantly reduced to a small percentage of what it is now, or maybe even eliminate it altogether by 2080.”

She expressed disappointment at the way people are non-challant about adopting this simple solution that inadvertently saves the future of their children on the pretence of ’love’.

“I do not see love in any affair that knowingly or carelessly produces children sentenced to a life of suffering. Such relationships are built on ignorance, greed and selfishness,” she said’


Corroborating her position, founder and coordinator of a Kaduna-based non-governmental organization, Sickle Cell Patients Health Promotion Centre (SCPHPC), Hajia Badiya Magaji Inuwa, revealed that she was currently giving care to about 3,000 sickle cell anaemia (SCA) patients in Kaduna without any assistance from government.

She stated that she founded the NGO some years back after one of her two children living with SCA died and this alerted her to the plight of other parents and patients who may not know where to access care.

Speaking during the official global flag-off of the awareness campaign on sickle cell in Kaduna State to sensitise members of the public, Mrs Onolememem, who has two children living with the disease, disclosed that about 300,000 live births of children with the condition are being added annually.

According to her, over 25 percent of adults in Nigeria have the traits of sickle Cell, with an infant mortality rate of about eight percent, and annual growth rate at 3.2 percent.

Sahe said, “The percentage of people living with sickle cell in Nigeria is high. If you look at it statistically, it is high and if you project the next 10 years, more than half of Nigeria’s population will be affected.

“If 40 million Nigerians are affected by sickle cell at the moment that we about 170 million population, that’s huge, and if you look at the number of births each year of carriers, it’s almost 300,000. What does that tell you?

It means that in the next three years alone, we would have about 900,000 births of carriers adding to the 40 million. You find that sickle cell will gradually become an epidemic in Nigeria if there is no response,” she added.

According to her, the only way to reduce the menace is for everyone – government, organisations, individuals and the community – to come together and understand that sickle advocacy is a campaign that calls for improved healthcare, improved research, improved family support, and improved education and awareness.

Speaking with newsmen, Hajiya Badiya Inuwa, restated that the best and sure antidote to sickle cell is awareness. She appealed to governments at all levels to invest in awareness and research that will help the public to understand the cause of sickle cell and start screening chidren at birth so that young Nigerians will be aware of their genotype before going into any relationship that can lead to marriage.

”Research and findings have shown that the antidote to sickle cell anaemia is not in the medical laboratories, but it is in the simple education and enlightenment of our people to do the right thing before marriage.

“If we all follow this simple rule of knowing our genotype before marriage and abiding by it, the occurrence of sickle cell anaemia will be significantly reduced to a small percentage of what it is now, or maybe even eliminate it altogether by 2080.”

She expressed disappointment at the way people are non-challant about adopting this simple solution that inadvertently saves the future of their children on the pretence of ’love’.

“I do not see love in any affair that knowingly or carelessly produces children sentenced to a life of suffering. Such relationships are built on ignorance, greed and selfishness,” she said


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