Sickle-cell: Kano to embark on public awareness campaign
By Mahmud Gambo Sani
Kano State Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has said that his administration would soon embark on public awareness programmes through the newly created Emirates to educate the public on the dangers of sickle cell anaemia.
Dr. Ganduje disclosed this when he received a delegation of the Sickle-Cell Consortia who paid him a courtesy visit in his office.
The governor, represented by his Deputy, Dr. Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna explained that even though efforts had been made to create awareness on how to reduce the spread of the disease, the state government would still collaborate with the Sickle-Cell Consortium to embark on massive public campaigns. “Sickle-Cell anaemia is something that definitely we need to make awareness to address its burdens.
Some people use to take the issue of Sickle-Cell very lightly more especially the couples when it comes to getting marriage, they simply avoid doing genotype,” he noted.
He maintained that with creation of the new Emirates, the government would design a programme with help of Sickle-Cell Consortia where a team of professionals would be going round to meet with people in the community to enlighten them on its preventive measures.
“On these issues regarding the SickleCell anaemia, I think the preventive measures are more important than the steps that are usually being taken after its discovery.
Governor Ganduje, who expressed concern over the spread of the disease in the state and the nation at large, implored the delegates to come out with a model on how government could come in to address the menace of Sickle-Cell anaemia.
Earlier, the leader of the delegation, Dr. Zubaida Farouk Ladan said they were at the Government House as part of advocacy visit on the Sickle-Cell disease and the ways to reduce its burdens. “The main focus of this group is to highlight the burdens of Sickle-Cell disease, to find ways of reducing the burdens. Sickle-Cell is a genetic disorder that is inherited through inheritance of the genes from both parents,” she explained.
According to her, the disease has one of the highest prevalence in the state, stressing that “…out of the six million persons that live with the disease in Nigeria, it is estimated that 400,000 persons live in Kano…” She further explained that every year, about 300,000 babies are born with the disease globally and 50-90 per cent of these babies die before they reach their fifth birth day especially when they live in Sub-Saharan Africa due to malaria and other environmental factors.
She assured the governor that the Consortia is currently proposing a cost-effective solution to reduce the burdens of the disease through the new method of premarital screening and new born screening for the disease.