The Delta State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Mordi Ononye made the call today in Asaba in a State-wide broadcast to residents as part of activities in commemoration of the 2022 world Sickle Cell Day.
Ononye explained that the theme for the 2022 World Sickle Cell Disorder Day -‘Shine the Light on Sickle Cell Disorder’ is very apt and hence a wakeup call to intensify efforts at preventive and appropriate management for sickle cell disorder.
According to the Commissioner, the day was created by the United Nations General Assembly in 2008 at its 63rd Session where it was formally established as a public health problem as one of the world’s foremost genetic diseases.
”The declaration was to create awareness about the disorder and facilitate early diagnosis and appropriate management,” he said.
The commissioner disclosed that Nigeria has the highest incidence of sickle cell disorder globally with one in every four Nigerians 25 per cent having the sickle cell trait.
He explained that, “poverty and lack of appropriate knowledge have been identified as key factors responsible for the high death rate among sickle cell sufferers.
”Several of our mothers and sisters particularly in the rural areas get into marriage not being aware of their genotype.
”Many also lack the financial means to check their genotype. When their children are born with Sickle Cell Disorder, they resort to quacks for solution. This often results in serious complications and death.”
On the State government’s effort at checking the disorder, the commissioner said that the Delta State Health Insurance Scheme introduced by this administration has enabled accessibility and treatment of various health conditions faced by those affected.
He added that the Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Governor’s wife, Her Excellency, Dame Edith Okowa’s Pet Project – ”O5 Initiative” facilitated the equipping and establishment of 23 sickle cell clinics in health facilities spread across the three senatorial districts of the state.
Ononye said that the institutions were also established to give needed counseling and proper management of people with the disorder, addiing that over 4,700 SCD patients have registered and benefited so far from this benevolence.
The Commissioner used the medium to thank His Excellency, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa and Her Excellency, Dame Edith Okowa for all the progress made to improve the health of all Deltans and also appreciated the various sickle cell clubs in the State, genetic counselors, caregivers and all those who have labored ceaselessly to give these people a good lease of life.