From Rashidat AbdulRahman, Minna
Wife of Niger State Governor and Founder, Raise Foundation, Dr Amina Abubakar Bello has urged parents to take the screening and timely diagnosis of their newborn babies on sickle cell anaemia seriously.
Dr Bello made this known in her remark during the train the trainers and capacity building workshop organised by African Research and Innovation Initiative for Sickle Cell Education (ARISE), in collaboration with Niger State ARISE and Sickle Cell Cohort Research (SCORE) in Abuja recently.
She disclosed that statistics have shown that at least 100,000 babies in Nigeria die from the disorder every year.
“Over 300,000 babies with severe red blood cell disorders are born globally and Nigeria carries 66 percent of the burden in the African region,” she said.
Explaining the menace of the disease, Dr Bello said, the cells travel through small blood vessels, get stuck & clog the blood flow which in effect causes pain with serious complications such as infection, acute chest syndrome and stroke.
Meanwhile, she assured that the Niger State government is collaborating with ARISE to improve care for sickle cell patients through the creation of inter-agency and multi disciplinary staff exchange programme.
She then urged all relevant clinical staff in the state, to share and spread the best practices in new-born screening, diagnosis and treatment of sickle cell disease that will lead to major improvements in overall disease outcomes.
She further urged participants at the workshop to use the knowledge acquired to achieve the desired objectives of the partnership and move sickle cell disease management forward in Niger State and the country at large.
Dr Bello stated that with the innovation initiative, sickle cell can be detected at the early stage of the baby’s birth.
She then presented certificates to some of the participants amongst whom were four participants from Niger State at the end of the workshop.
Participants at the workshop were drawn from different states across the country.