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Rep endorses plans to establish sickle cell centre in Abuja



Rep endorses plans to establish sickle cell centre in Abuja

By EricJames Ochigbo

Representative Salam Bamidele (PDP-Osun) pledged his support for the establishment of a sickle cell center at Abuja University Hospital, Gwagwalada.

Bamidele said this when he received members of the Nigeria Pediatric Sickle Support Initiative (PSSIN), a non-governmental organization (NGO), in his office in Abuja on Wednesday.

The lawmaker who sponsored the National Sickle Cell Agency and other bills on the prevention and treatment of inherited blood disorders, has promised to ensure the establishment of the center.

“There is nothing we can do too much for this category of our fellow citizens. I assure you that I will take on the task and by the grace of God we will work together to make sure we get the result.

“As we speak, the bill has passed committee stage and the report is already before the House. I am sure that from now on it will go to third reading and to the Senate for approval for transmission to the Speaker.

“We need a lot of advocacy before the bill is passed and passed on; because sometimes people think it’s normal, ”he said.

Bamidele added: “We need a lot of advocacy so that even the Presidency is aware of the enormity of the problems that we are about to solve and the need for assent.

“All we ask is that we have an agency that can coordinate all activities, including advice.

“We need to do more in this regard and I urge you to follow it all through.”

The legislator congratulated the NGO for having taken charge of the plight of sickle cell patients, urging it to synergize with other NGOs for greater advocacy.

Previously, PSSIN President Stephen Adesina, who led the delegation, said the NGO was interested in establishing a sickle cell center at the University of Abuja.

He said the NGO’s activities are aimed at improving the lives of people with sickle cell disease through social interaction and ensuring Nigeria is connected and not left behind.

“We are looking forward to having a sickle cell center within Abuja University Hospital, what we usually have is a hematology department.

“In these services, when a child with sickle cell disease arrives, they are asked to go to the main library where the files will be collected before taking care of this child.

“If a child with sickle cell disease needs to be investigated, they go to the same lab where a multitude of people are gathered to conduct the investigation.

“We hope to have a sickle cell center where we will have nurses, doctors, a laboratory, our archives office so that when a child with sickle cell disease can receive the urgent treatment required,” he said.

Adesina said most tertiary health facilities across the country are still not using hydroxyurea, a modern drug to manage sickle cell anemia. (NAA)


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