About 4m Nigerians Are Sickle Cell Carriers, Prof Raises Alarm

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Nigeria

*advocate early detection 

By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan


Former Director of Institute for Advanced Medical Research and Training, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Professor Adeyinka Falusi has alerted that no fever than four million Nigerians are sickle cell carriers. 
Prof Falusi stated this while delivering her keynote address at the public presentation of a book entitled “Phases: Memoirs of Sickle Cell Amazon” authored by Dr. Mariam Lawal.
According to Prof Falusi, there are still indications that the number of sickle cell carriers in the country may increase if nothing is done to facilitate early diagnosis of the ailment. 
Specifically, Professor Falusi hinted that by 2050,  the number of sickle cell carrier in the country  may likely increase if nothing is done to facilitate early diagnosis, adding that the time has come for the three tiers of governments in the country to facilitate early diagnosis of sickle cell carriers and prevent complications.
” More than four million Nigerians are sickle cell carriers, the number might likely increase by 2050, if nothing is done on the issue”, she said

Professor Falusi added, ” I called on the three tiers of government to facilitate early diagnosis of sickle cell carriers and prevent complications.Early diagnosis of the disorder would facilitate treatment, care, reduce complications and as well, reduce the death rate of sickle cell carriers”.
She  stressed that early diagnosis will facilitate treatment, care, reduce complications and deaths among carriers, adding that poverty, lack of insurance, lack of awareness and medical care was responsible for the increase of this disorder.

The former Director of Institute for Advanced Medical Research and Training, College of Medicine then urged Nigerians to know their genotypes to guide against being a sickle cell carrier, as she encouraged sickle cell carriers not to be discouraged by the disorder. 
In her remarks, wife of the Deputy Governor of Oyo State, Professor Amudalat Olaniyan called for discouragement of people with the trent of AS genotype from marrying one another to avoid given birth to sickle cell carriers.
“It is unfortunate that we still find ourselves in this disorder; many had lost friends to sickle cell disorder and some of them are very brilliant, you can imagine losing people of that nature. We must always create awareness so as to discourage those that are not compatible from marrying themselves”, she said
Author of the book, Dr. Mariam Lawal in her remarks stressed  that the book would be an encourager to sickle cell carriers, saying, ” Sickle cell warriors constitute a significant percentage of the population who are prone to developing one other disability or the other due to associated complications of the disorder. 
“Some people perceive warriors as though, they are already on death row, while other individuals believe that they cannot achieve meaningful gain and growth in life”. 

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