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Former NAFDAC DG Makes Case For Sickle Cell Patients

In order to lessen the pain brought on by their health conditions, Mrs. Yetunde Oni, the former director general of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), has asked government at all levels to include care for Sickle Cell sufferers in its health plans.

She made the call in Ibadan at the second anniversary of the nonprofit Chrisbo HB Champions Club, which supports those with sickle cell anemia.

Mrs. Oni said that while individuals and non-governmental organizations (NGOS) were doing their best to assist this group of people who lacked access to healthcare, government engagement through partnership with NGOS would quickly reduce the patients’ monthly expenses.

“Government should take very keen interest in, to support the people that are seriously working for humanity and I would recommend that they should think outside the box, go after those ones that are working and give them all the supports they need so that they can complement what the government is doing in making sure that all the wellbeing of the citizenry is guaranteed”

The former NAFDAC DG advised SS patients not to grow weary of their medication regimen, claiming that persistent use of the medication would make them crisis-free and noted that regular water consumption would improve their well-being.

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“Nobody is complete, fingers are not equal, don’t feel less important, for the fact the you’re sickle cell patients, you’re champions , nothing is wrong with you, be at your best all the time, use your drugs as prescribed, don’t expose yourselves and never overdo things so that you’ll not come back and start the treatment all over again.” Mrs. Oni added.

The Reverend ‘Niyi Dahunsi, who served as the event’s chairman and deputy director of programming for Radio Nigeria’s Ibadan Zonal Station, praised the NGO for giving sickle cell patients free, routine care and blood transfusions to ensure that people with the SS blood group live long lives and urged the government to fully bear responsibility for them.

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“I am going to put up an advocacy programme on the radio to sensitise the people on the need for people with the blood group SS and AS not to inter marry so as to reduce the number of Sickle Cell patients in Nigeria”

Convener of the NGO, Dr. Bose Ola, who identified shortage of voluntary blood donors as the challenges experienced in the two years of treating the one hundred and thirty members of Sickle cell patients explained that not less than nineteen patients received free blood transfusion monthly in addition to weekly free drugs dispensary.

“Every now and then they require blood transfusion and I want them to get blood with ease without monitoring, constraint or protocol, so we ask voluntary donors to go to a lab in Basorun who bleeds them and keep the blood for us when we need it. Sometimes we run out of blood, last Wednesday we turned somebody back because there was no blood to give.

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The most pressing one right now is that am desirous of acquiring a Hematology Analizer so instead of doing PCV every month, which we have been doing for the past two years, we would like to do a full blood count so that we would be able to give better medication.” Dr. Ola added.

Two people with sickle cell disease, Amao Bisola, 29, and Adékolá Joshua, 21, who spoke with, expressed relief at the assistance of the Chrisbo HB Champions Club, urging others to grant them equal rights and chances free from stigmatization so they may demonstrate their value.

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