Kano state has one of the higher prevalence of sickle-cell disease, just as there are 31,000 registered sickle-cell patients in the three major hospitals in the state, according to Dr. Zubaida Farouk Ladan of Sickle-Cell Consortium, a group founded for advocacy against the dreaded disease.
Dr. Ladan stated this when she led a delegation of the Sickle-Cell Consortium on an advocacy visit on Kano State governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, om Monday.
Dr. Ladan, in a statement by Hassan Musa Fagge, Chief Press Secretary to the Deputy Governor of the state, Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna, who represented the governor, said the state has estimated 400,000 persons living with sickle-cell anemia, adding that the figure was out of 6 million persons suffering from the disease nationwide.
She explained that, Murtala Muhammad Hospital alone has 17,000 registered sickle-cell patients, adding that; “if you combine Murtala, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospiatal, Nassarawa and Hasiya Bayero Hospitals, they estimated at about 31,000 Sickle-Cell Patients who registered. This is to show how the problem is in Kano.”
She further explained that every year, about 300,000 babies are born with the disease globally, adding that 50-90% of the babies die before they reach their 5th birthday especially when they live in Subsaharan 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 pre-martial screening and new born screening for Sickle-Cell.
In his remarks, Ganduje disclosed that his administration would soon embark on public awareness programmes through the newly created emirates to educate the public on the danger of Sickle-Cell anaemia.
He stated 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 it’s 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,” the governor was quoted as saying in the statement.
He maintained that with creation of the new Emirates, Kano State 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 Sickle-Cell anaemia, I think the preventive measures are more important than the steps that are usually been taken after its discovery.
” All we want is for you the professionals to come with the media ideas, let us design continuous radio programmers , design continuous Fliers like what is obtained in the case of HIV to educate our people on the dangers of Sickle-Cell anaemia and the way to reduce it ” Ganduje urged, ” he said
Governor Ganduje who expressed concerns over the spread of the disease in Kano and Nigeria at large, implored the delegates to come out with a model on how government could key in to address the menance of Sickle-Cell anaemia.