Mrs Adebola Benjamin, made the call on Monday in Abuja at the commemoration of the 2017 World Sickle Cell Awareness Day.
The Executive Secretary of the Foundation, Mrs Adebola Benjamin, made the call on Monday in Abuja at the commemoration of the 2017 World Sickle Cell Awareness Day.
Benjamine said Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) was a major health challenge in Nigeria, noting that most carriers die from complications before their 5birthday.
She stressed the need for government to make policies that would support SCD survivors, saying that “people with the disorder often experience episodes of pain, fatigue and frequent infections.
“We need government intervention and policies that would support us. We also need medical professionals that would cater for our health such as nurses, caregivers and doctors."
“We are Nigerian citizens born with sickle cell which was not our choice and according to our constitution, every Nigerian child had a right to live, thrive, survive and to be productive."
“We can live a normal and productive life if government would make policies and create structures that would enable us to have access to free medications and build sickle cell centres.”
The foundation scribe said that the World Sickle Cell Awareness Day was aimed at creating awareness on SCD and highlighting healthy lifestyle choices, advancement in medical science and mental health care for survivors.
She explained that SCD was discovered over 100 years ago but had no cure, adding, however, that nutrition help to mitigate episodes of pain.
Benjamin said that the foundation had a friendly platform with network support system for survivors during times of emotional and psychological depression.
She noted that the platform provided care and support for survivors, stressing that “each day was a celebration of life for an SCD warrior.”
She announced that the foundation usually hold sickle cell education to enlighten mothers on how to improve their livelihood, increase productivity and quality life for their children.
She said “we also encourage families with warriors not to live in denial of their circumstances but to develop relationships with medical personnel that they could reach out to during crisis."
“We urge parents to ensure that children with the disease remain hydrated at all times, as well as eat foods that would boost their immune system.”
He called for the inclusion of sickle cell disease as subject in school curriculum across the country, saying young children needed to know the condition at an early stage of their lives.
She added that the knowledge of sickle cell disease at an early stage would create awareness about genotype and the importance of making the right decision when they become older.