The Head of Department of Pathology in Federal Medical Centre, Abeokuta, Dr Loretta Onwah on Wednesday said World Sickle Cell Day is designed to increase knowledge and understanding of sickle cell disease as well as the challenges the patients, their families and their caregivers face.
She also explained that the awareness of the sickle cell in the country is getting better adding that it is their responsibility to keep doing the awareness by educating people and giving the patients a word of encouragement.
Onwah made this known while fielding questions from journalists at the 2019 edition of World Sickle Cell Day organised by the Adult and Paediatric Haematology Unit, held at FMC, Abeokuta, the State Capital.
The theme of the programme is “Stem Cell Transplantation-Cure for SCD”
She also hinted that the efforts the medical doctor are making is to reduce the rate of sickle cell disease in the country.
She maintained that “Once you are above the age of one, it is the responsibility of everyone to know his or her genotype.
Dr. Ogunnaike Temitope in the same department also explained that Nigeria as a country have the largest people of sickle cell carrier in the world.
His words “Does who are carrier should be advice, counsel and explain possible consequences that can happen, by telling them to know their genotype and get the right counseling before getting married to another person with the same carrier.
He further explained that “About 20 percent of the population are sickle cell carrier in the country.
While talking about the theme of the programme, Dr Ogbotoshola, the Senior Regisrar in Pathology said the programme is organised to notify the populace that sickle cell disease can only be cure by stem cell transplantation which involve wiping out the cell that form the sickle cell.
She further explained that “Many Nigerians have been misinformed about curing sickle cell disease.
Answering question either genotype can be done twice, Ogbotoshola said “There is no need to check your genotype again once it is being done, but because of the situation of our country, we have a lot of false negative and positive results in the laboratory and different type of laboratory errors occur, one need to do his or her genotype in a facilities that you can be sure of their result.
“So if anyone has done his or her genotype in probably a private laboratory we can advice the person to do it again in a satisfy laboratory,” she concluded.