Infant Mortality: Ogun Seeks Reduction In Sickle Cell Death - THE ENCOUNTER NEWS


Friday, February 18, 2022

Infant Mortality: Ogun Seeks Reduction In Sickle Cell Death

ABEOKUTA - The Ogun State Government says a prevention, low-cost diagnosis and treatment of sickle cell disease would contribute to a drastic reduction in under-5  mortality in the State.

The Commissioner for Health, Dr. Tomi Coker made this known while declaring open a 2-Day Training of Health Workers on Comprehensive Newborn Screening Programme (CNBSP) for Sickle Cell Disorders organized by the Ministry of Health in Abeokuta. 

Coker said Nigeria has the highest number of cases of sickle cell disease in the world, describing the disease as one of the leading causes of infant deaths in the country. 

She however said 70% of deaths from the disease could be prevented with a low-cost diagnostic and treatment plan, disclosing that Governor Dapo Abiodun's consistent investment in the health sector will contribute to a significant reduction in the burden of discorder such as sickle cell disease. 

"An estimated 150,000 babies are born annually in Nigeria with sickle cell disease. It is a heredity disorder that leads to death of 70%-90% infants before the age of 5. Sadly, Only a small portion of affected infants and children in Sub-Saharan Africa reach adolescence due to the gaps in our health system."

The Commissioner said that the workshop is the first comprehensive newborn screening for sickle cell disease programme in the State and part of government's strategies to reduce under 5 mortality, expressing optimism of a success story regarding fight against sickle cell disease in the nearest future. 

The Director, Public Health Department, Ministry of Health, Dr. Festus Soyinka, in his opening remarks, said participants at the workshop would be exposed to the five components the newborn screening including testing, tracking, treatment, education and evaluation, calling on them to maximize the training opportunity given to them. 

In her goodwill message, the Workshop facilitator, a Consultant Haematologist, Professor Norah Akinola, described the programme as a landmark event in South-West Nigeria that will end the tears of many mothers and families, appreciating the Ogun State government for prioritizing the health of the citizens.

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