Osagie Ehanire
Osagie Ehanire

FG moves to review guidelines for sickle cell treatment

NEWS DIGEST – In a bid to improve the well-being of sickle cell patients in Nigeria, the Federal Government has moved to review guidelines for sickle cell treatment.

The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, made this known on Monday, during a two-day workshop organized by the Sickle Pan African Consortium Nigeria Network, in Abuja

Ehanire, represented by a Deputy Director in the ministry, Dr. Alayo Sopekan, disclosed that Nigeria has the highest burden of sickle cell diseases globally.

According to him, for Nigeria to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 1, 3, 4, and 10, Nigeria must address the issue of sickle cell disease.

He said more than 150,000 babies are being born annually with SCD, adding that 50 percent of the babies die before their fifth birthday while 25 percent of the adult populations of reproductive age are carrying the disease.

He said, “Nigerian Government is putting strategies in place to address the disease as the government has adopted universal newborn screening to achieve its goals on sickle cell disease”.

Also speaking, the Director of the University of Abuja Centre of Excellence for Sickle Cell research and training, Prof. Obiageli Nnodu, stated that the Nigerian government needs to review the sickle cell disease treatment.

According to her, the current curative therapy available for sickle cell diseases is bone marrow transplantation.

“Marrow transplantation has the drawbacks of exorbitant costs outside the reach of most patients, and only two or three centres offer such service in the country,”Nnodu said.

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