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Sickle Cell Disease Control: Engaging the Rural Dwellers

At the various locations, the SCHAF team was led by its President, Professor A.G. Falusi. She delivered a lecture titled “Sickle Cell Disease Control: Engaging the Rural Dwellers”.  The lecture which was centered on prevention as a means of controlling SCD was relayed mostly in Yoruba Language to aid the understanding of the subject matter by all participants. The pattern of inheritance and complications of SCD were also emphasized with the aid of visual illustrations to make the people understand the way the disease is acquired, the plight of individuals living with the disease and the urgent need to control it.

Emphasis on Blood Genotype differentiation from Blood Group and the eventual importance of using these facts in mulling. Their own personal informed decision eventually in later life was emphasised. They were encouraged to learn more about SCD in the papers and the media as well as spread the word far and near. Parents were also encouraged to financially support their children in knowing their Genotype in proper places. Once done right, Genotype never changes with age.

SCHAF made her intentions clear on eventually coming back to launch a KNOW YOUR GENOTYPE ‘KYG’ Club in the various communities in the near future. The government and well-meaning Nigerians were called upon to support this programme towards ensuring that free Genotype testing is provided for every student at the secondary school level in the country. Several questions raised by the participants were answered which actually enriched the participatory and interactive programme.

SCHAF provided handbills and fliers to further educate the community

Parent handbooks for Sickle Cell Disease in Nigeria useful for the care of individuals living with the disease were provided to some free of charge. There was free Genotype Screening for some Senior Secondary School students at the locations visited were done.

Participants in the programme included all Local Chiefs, Government officials (State and Local), Community members, Health care professionals and invited Stakeholders, Secondary School Students and the National Youth Service Corp members.

Sickle Cell Disease is a family of disease which is Sickle Cell Anaemia (Hb SS), Sickle Cell Haemoglobin C disease (Hb SC) and some others such as Sickle Cell Haemoglobin F (HbS+F) etc.

Do you know that?

4 Million Nigerians have Sickle Cell Disease, Hb SS Sickle Cell Anaemia and Hb SC Sickle Cell Haemoglobin (Hb SS + Hb SC)

40 Million Nigerians have Sickle Cell trait. (Hb AS). These people are called Sickle Cell ‘Carriers’

What is your contribution to reduce the scourge of Sickle Cell disease in Nigeria?

Give us your Opinion and important links to whoever can help these affected individuals.