The Head of Haematology Department, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital UPTH, Dr. Kaladada Kurubo has called for an end of stigmatization for carriers of sickle cell disease in Nigeria.
Dr. Kaladada Kurubo during a blood donation drive to mark the world sickle cell day in Port Harcourt said sickle cell is not a death sentence.
Dr. Kurubo said sickle cell is just a genetic disease and not a communicable disease.
The medical practitioner appealed to Nigerians to always show love and kindness to carriers of sickle cell disease.
She asked intending couples to know their genotype before getting married.
Dr. Kaladada Kurubo also said that scientists have made a huge improvement in the management and treatment of sickle cell disease.
She said that a lot of research is still going on in the area of treatment and management of sickle cell anaemia across the world.
In the meantime, the Sickle Cell Awareness and Health Foundation SCAHF has called for speedy passage of Sickle Cell Bill at the National Assembly.
The aim of the sickle cell bill is to place a statutory duty on the federal government to engage in and encourage the prevention, control, and management of the spread and effect of sickle cell anaemia.
The Co-founder of Sickle Cell Awareness and Health Foundation Omubo Dabota during a blood drive in Port Harcourt said the bill, when passed into law, will help in proper management and care for carriers of sickle cell in Nigeria.
Omubo Dabota also said that more awareness is needed to reduce the high prevalence of sickle cell burden in Nigeria.
She said poor awareness is to blame for the high number of sickle cell disease in Nigeria.
In her comment, the Founder of Sickle Cell Interactive and Management Association SCIMA Ifeoma Ifejika said she is worried that the percentage of sickle cell carriers is still high in Nigeria.
Ifeoma Ifejika said most intending couples are still ignorant about sickle cell disease.
She also called for legislation that will stop incompatible partners from getting married.