There has been a steady increase in the number of sickle cell cases in Edo state in the last 4 years and the Board Chairman of the Edo State Sickle Cell Centre, Prof. Caroline Omoti, has raised the alarm over the situation on Friday in Benin, Edo State during the presentation of self-care toolkits to people with Sickle Cell in Benin by the Tonymay Foundation.
Omoti further revealed that between 2014 and 2017, the number of sickle cell sufferers on the list of the Centre increased from 4,000 to 7,573. According to her, the commonest type of presentation was Vaso-occlusive and hyper hemolytic crisis.
The Sickle Cell Centre Board Chairman disclosed that some of the proposed treatment plans were to ensure total blood exchange unit/aphaeresis, prenatal diagnostic unit-newborn screening (West wing), small radiological unit-trans cranial Doppler scan, specific days for gentotic counseling and research coordinating unit.
The Edo State Head of Service, Mrs. Gladys Idahor, commended the Board Chairman of the Sickle Cell Centre, Prof. (Mrs.) Omoti, for her initiative at repositioning the Centre through various innovations introduced to ensure effective management of the centre.
Mrs. Idahor, who was represented at the event by the Permanent Secretary, Edo state Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs. Stella-Maris Imasuen, noted that the centre has become a centre of excellence following the effective management.
In his speech, the Chairman of Tonymay Foundation, Andrew Otokhina, lauded the Edo State Government for providing medical care and a centre for sickle cell sufferers in the State.
He applauded Governor Godwin Obaseki for his commitment and dedication to the health and welfare of sickle cell sufferers in the State, even as he appealed for 24-hour service at the sickle cell centre.
Otokhina who donated the medical relief ma adviced sufferers of sickle cell anemia sufferers to always get hydrated, never fall into malaria crisis and avoids stress and infection for children in a bid to live a normal life.
He said the Sickle Cell is not a disease but a disorder and can be managed by medical professionals warning sufferers to desist from patronizing unqualified medical personnel in private hospitals.