Stigmatisation against sickle-cell patients aggravates crisis by over 50%–Expert



Dr Ibrahim Usman-Kusfa of Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital (ABUTH), Zaria, has advised Nigerians to avoid stigmatisation against sickle-cell anemia patients as doing so would aggravate recurrence of crisis by over 50 per cent.

Usman-Kusfa, who is a Consultant Hematologist in ABUTH made the disclosure in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency in Zaria, Kaduna State on Thursday.

He said the call became imperative in view of the fact that some people consider sickle cell anemia patients as those already with dead warrants.

He advised families with sickle-cell patient(s) to always give them collective support and encouragement to reduce frequent crisis.

He identified the management aspect of the disease as one key area that needed to be looked into, saying that it entails counseling, supporting and nurturing the patients.

“The management entails counseling the patients, showing care and support as well as nurturing them so that they can cope with day-to-day activities in life.

“This management is not restricted to doctors, it also entails the parents, mother and father, other siblings in the house, people in the neighbourhood as well as the community at large,” he said.

According to him, the management of sickle cell anemia requires team work, assuring that once people integrate compassion into the management of the disease, it will pave way for great improvement in the patients’ wellbeing.

The consultant appealed to Nigerians to see wisdom in showing care, support, love and encouragement to sickle cell anemia patients, assuring that such move would go a long way in reducing frequent crisis.

He observed that the sickle cell patients did not just contracted the disease as a result of their negligence but occured as a genetic disease.

“Sickle-cell anemia actually is disease that is genetic, meaning it is inherited from both parents, from the mother and also from the father, so, a child cannot inherit this disease from a single parent.

“A child must inherit it from both parents, one abnormal gene from the mother and one abnormal from the father. The disease is very simple to treat but very complex in management.

“What I mean by simple is that since we know how it happens and how it is acquired and we know that there are some drugs that alleviate or lessen the pains, actually, the pains are the hallmark of the disease.”

He, however, said that apart from pains there are other symptoms accompanying the disease going by what the patients present but the pains remained the major complaint.

“Since we understand that there are drugs that lessen the pains or even make it disappear for a long period of time, we have to go by it.”

The consultant appealed to Nigerians, especially intending couples to go for “genotype test” to reduce if not totally eradicate the disease.

“Somebody may have an abnormal gene in him without knowing and if he marries a woman with same abnormal gene, there is likelihood of giving birth to a child with sickle cell anemia and the chances is 50 per cent.

“So, it is better and it is always advisable that intending couples should go to the hospital get their genotype known so that the doctor or health personnel can counsel them.

“But remember, the doctor or health personnel will not force them either to marry or not to marry but will just tell you the implication.

“For example, if the bride and groom to be are both carriers, we will actually tell them the implication, in case you marry and you eventually give birth to a child with sickle cell anemia, it will not be new to you,” Usman-Kusfa said.

He said there were many cases in the hospital where husbands blame their wives and wives blame their husbands that one was responsible for the disease.

Edited & Vetted By: Olawunmi Ashafa/Tukur Muntari.

Credible elections crucial to peace, development – CSO Our candidate’s eligibility unassailable, Lagos APC tells rumour mongers NESP: Don’t pay to access support grant, Presidency tells artisans Coalition laments release of inadequate funds for Bauchi Health sector capital projects Nigeria At 60 : Niger Govt official urges citizens to have faith in Nigeria project Uganda resumes commercial flights after seven-month suspension Nigeria needs actionable plan — NGO Deployment of technology critical for development — Sanwo-Olu Reports: Over 1,000 Hondurans are trekking towards US border Independence Day: Rep wants Obafemi Awolowo declared national hero Nigeria @60: Group urges Nigerians to unite against enemies of peace Gov. Mohammed says Bauchi records 1.4 million out-of-school children, figure highest in Nigeria Independence: PDP governors call for national dialogue Eminent Nigerian elders, leaders seek new constitution for unity, progress Kwara, a model for women empowerment – Ex-Liberian President Provide separate toilets for female civil servants – Bauchi NCWS begs Gov. Mohammed  FG kicks-off MSME support programme Google partners with NTDC to grow Nigeria tourism NLC urges FG to provide resilient base sustainable development Nigeria at 60: Foundation offers free medical services to indigents in Nasarawa   Europeans, UK tell U Navalny poisoning a ‘threat to international peace, security’ Gov Zulum reiterates commitment to welfare of displaced persons Lagos puts Nigeria on world record with 60,000 cupcakes mosaic Ambode’s former commissioner resigns from APC Show must go on as Queen and Adam Lambert release first live album 60: Lagos govt, Fly Africa creates 60,000 cupcakes mosaic anniversary logo Osinbajo disagrees with bleak view of Nigeria’s history Day of Older Persons: Nigeria plans to achieve 2020 Global strategy plan Group wants Nigerians to celebrate Buhari Nigeria @ 60: Ahmadu Bello Foundation urges leaders to confront challenges LASG tasks hospitals on improved aesthetic to foster patients’ satisfaction Globacom spent over N3bn on NFF, NPL during my tenure, says Ka’Oje Nigeria @60: Association tasks Nigerians on peaceful co-existence UEFA Champions League draw: Manchester Utd draw PSG as Ronaldo, Messi face off Navy Sailing Club holds Independence Day/Commodore Boat Race Nigeria @60: Stakeholders call for patriotism, value reorientation, responsibility Ojukwu varsity lecturers deny opting out of ASUU strike PDP urges Buhari to strengthen harmonious living in Nigeria Kogi CJ tasks lawyers on application of ‘Electronic Evidence’ Zamfara pledges revival of health, demographic centre Independence: Buhari’s Comparism of Petrol prices will educate Nigerians- Expert Diamond Jubilee: Nigeria can become power house of technology in Africa – Expert Independence Day: Police arrest 30 protesters, detain Inspector for assaulting journalist NGOs advocate establishment of platform to cater for elderly in Nigeria Nigeria @60: Sanwo-Olu urges youths to believe in Nigeria Independence: Experts commend monuments integrity, task building professionals on quality construction Polish Robert Lewandowski wins UEFA Men’s Player of the Year award Buhari identifies factors behind girl’s enrolment, retention in schools Nigeria @60: Ondo CAN charges leaders to look inward Atedo Peterside tasks FG on guarantees for pension funds investment