Commissioner Calls For Aggressive Sickle Cell Campaign In Educational Institutions

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Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole
By: SANI ALIYU, Zaria

The Kaduna State Commissioner of Health, Dr.  Paul Manya Dogo has advocated for consistent campaign on sickle cells in Nigerian institutions to curtail the spread of the condition.

He stated this during a lecture series organised by an NGO, Arewa Youth Trust Foundation held at Hallmark International School, Zaria, Kaduna State.

 The lecture series which was organised in collaboration with Saffiyya Sickle Cells Foundation, touched; Sickle Cells Anaemia, Peaceful Coexistence, Girl Child Education and Personal Hygiene.

The commissioner, who was represented by Dr Adamu Maigari-Musa, Medical Director, Limi Hospital, Zaria, said the call was necessary in view of the untold hardship the victims go through.

He said  consistent campaign in the educational institutions  would not only create awareness but would also reduce the spread of the disease amongst Nigerians.

He lauded the efforts of Arewa Youth Trust Foundation for organising what he described as educative and impressive lecture strikes.

In his lecture, Dr Aliyu Waziri, Consultant Hematologist from Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital (ABUTH), Zaria, advised people to stop addressing victims as sticklers, rather, they should be addressed as sickle cells anaemia patients.

“When you call them sickler, they become stigmatised, therefore just call them patient of sickle cells anaemia only, they will feel belong.”

According to him,  the disease was neither contagious nor communicable but hereditary as a result of marriage between persons with AS and AS or between AS and SS.

The medical expert therefore, advised people to ensure that they go for genotype test before getting married, adding that “it is very important for all to know their genotype.”

In his presentation on Peaceful Coexistence, Prof. Kabir Danja charged the students to promote peace at all times to pave way prevailing peace in Nigeria.

He identified some threats that were militating against the peaceful coexistence in Nigeria to include; religion, leadership, tribe and poverty among others.

Pharmacist Bilkisu Muhammad of Suffiyya Sickle Cells Foundation who spoke on Girl Child Education and Personal Hygiene said educating a woman was as good as educating a family.

In his speech, the Chairman of Arewa Youth Trust Foundation, Alhaji Fahad Chikaji appreciated Hallmark International School for preparing students to achieve pinnacle in their different  life endeavours.

He urged the students to take advantage of the lecture series to enhance their knowledge on the selected topics and possibly inform others.

Chikaji appreciated the school for providing the foundation with an opportunity to bring forth awareness campaign to the door step of the youths.

The foundation had visited orphanage centres at Gwargwaje and Tukur-Tukur where they offered some donations to he two places.

 

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