Medical experts on Wednesday called for collaborative efforts to reduce the burden of sickle cell in the country.
The call was made at the 2018 end of the year programme organised by Sickle Cell Hope Alive Foundation (SCHAF) in Ibadan.
Prof. Adeyinka Falusi, President of SCHAF said over four million Nigerians were suffering from the sickle cell disease.
He also said that about 40 million people were carriers of the traits of the disease, calling for an end to stimatisation of suffers.
“It is time we stopped the stigmatisation of people living with the condition. People with sickle cell can live a healthy and prolonged life through proper care.
“Awareness on the disease for prevention and management should be given a top priority.
“Hospitals should be available for their treatment and right drugs should be provided.
“Indeed, government and mothers have a major role to play to reduce the suffering of sickle cell patients,” Falusi said.
Dr Iyabode Olusanmi, who represented the Director, Association for Reproductive and Family Health (ARFH) Prof. Oladapo Ladipo, called for primary prevention of the disease.
She told members of the public to know their phenotype and make informed decision before choosing life partners.
“The secondary measure is the prevention of complications.
“Like doing things that are healthy to improve your health, such as eating well, adequate sleep, moderate exercises and avoid infections by practising proper hygiene,” she said.
Also, Mrs Atinuke Osunkoya, Commissioner for Women Affairs, Oyo State, urged groups and individuals to leverage on interventions prescribed by the World Health Organisation (WHO), for the benefits of sickle cell patients.