Written by Austine ELEMUE

Sickle Cell: NGO sensitize students in Abuja


As part of activities to mark this year's Sickle Cell Day, the Eyum Sickle Cell Anemia Foundation, ESCAF, in collaboration with Sickle Cell Support, and Center for School Healthy Environmental Education and Hygiene, have carried out a sensitization campaign for students of secondary schools in Abuja on the prevention and treatment of sickle cell disorder. 

The organisers of the event said that the programme was aimed at creating awareness about sickle cell disorder, its prevention and management for both senior secondary school students and residents as part of activities to mark the United Nations World Sickle Cell awareness day slated for June 19, every year. 

The founder of the group, Audu Sandra Eyum, told journalists in Abuja that this year's programme is targeted at promoting awareness of sickle cell disorder, educate students on preventive and management measures of sickle cell anemia and encourage warriors (sicklers) to have a positive attitude to life as well as create database for information management and sharing. 

Eyum, however, lamented the high cost for the treatment and management of sickle cell disorder, just as she stressed the importance of counselling in the management of the disease. 

"Sickle cell disease is an inherited disease of red blood cells which is characterized by pain episodes (crisis) anemia, damaged to organs, and infections, severe anemia, delayed growth, skin ulcers, preapism, stroke, among others", stressing that the best cure for now is to avoid carriers come into marriage, hence counseling is one of the major steps by the Foundation to reach-out to people. 

Earlier in her remarks, the guest speaker and deputy director in the Private Health Establishment Regulatory Committee, Health Secretariat of the Federal Capital Territory Administration, Pharm. Nkechi Ezeudu, also noted the lack of proper awareness as one of the major challenges of sickle cell disorder in the country. 

Ezeudu, told participants that absolute faith in God and awareness remain the best option for management and prevention of sickle cell anemia, stressing that the best treatment of the disease is nutrition integrated with faith. 

Ezeudu revealed that other researches going on include the use of Tranylcy Promine (anti-depressant) to reverse the sickle cell disease, use of Lemon fast and Hydroxurea for sickle cell disease. 

The medical expert therefore advocated for more researches to be conducted in this area, while commending the Eyum Sickle Cell Foundation for sustaining the tempo in creating awareness among students of secondary schools.



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