SICKLE CELL DAY: Wife of Abia State Gov Sensitizes People to the Need to ascertain their Genotype
As Nigeria joins the rest of the world today to mark World Sickle Cell Day, intending couples in Abia State have been urged to ascertain their genotype and blood group before marriage to help in preventing sickle cell disease.
The Speaker, Abia State House of Assembly, Chief Chinedum Orji gave the advice while declaring open activities for the 2019 World Sickle Cell Awareness Day organized by the office of the wife of Abia State Governor, Mrs Nkechi Ikpeazu in Umuahia.
Chief Orji called on religious leaders, traditional institutions and government agencies to abide by the Abia State Identification of Blood Group and Genotype Law 2018 which stipulated that residents must carryout genotype test before marriage.
The Speaker applauded the wife of the Governor, Mrs Nkechi Ikpeazu for implementing the law and pledged that the House of Assembly would continue to enact laws that had interest of the people at heart.
In an address, the wife of the Governor, Mrs Nkechi Ikpeazu explained that the event was geared towards creating awareness in the State on the problems associated with having sickle cell patients.
Meanwhile, World Sickle Cell day is established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2008 to increase awareness on sickle cell disease and its cure among the common public.
The Day is set aside to encourage members of public and support them to remove social stigma and myths on sickle cell anemia.
Sickle cell is an inheritable genetic and fatal disease causing red blood cells disorders which has been classified as sickle cell anemia and may lead to death.
Speaking on the relevance of the day, a Consultant Hematologist with the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital Ituku-Ozalla, Dr Augustine Duru identified lack of information as one of reasons the sickness was still on the increase.
According to Doctor Duru, sickle cell anemia can be cured through bone marrow transplant.