Federal Government has established six sickle cell reference centres in six Federal Medical Centres (FMCs) across the country, Prof. Isaac Adewole, the Minister of Health, said on Saturday.
Adewole listed the FMCs as the Federal Medical Centres, Ebute Meta, Lagos; Federal Medical Centre, Keffi and the Federal Medical Centre, Gombe.
Others are the Federal Medical Centre, Yenagoa; Federal Medical Centre, Birnin-Kebbi and Federal Medical Centre, Abakaliki.
“I wish to passionately appeal to all partners to support the ministry to conduct National Survey so as to establish the current prevalence of NCDs for sound policy direction and planning in Nigeria,” Adewole said.
“The most common type is known as sickle-cell anaemia (SCA). It results in an abnormality in the oxygen-carrying protein haemoglobin (hemoglobin S) found in red blood cells.
“This leads to a rigid, sickle-like shape under certain circumstances. Problems in sickle cell disease typically begin around 5 to 6 months of age.
“A number of health problems may develop, such as attacks of pain (“sickle-cell crisis”), anaemia, swelling in the hands and feet, bacterial infections, and stroke.
“Long term pain may develop as people get older. The average life expectancy in the developed world is 40 to 60 years.’’
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