The senate has passed a bill seeking to improve the management of sickle cell disease in the country.
The bill passed third reading after Yahaya Oloriegbe, chairman of the committee on health, presented a report.
Oloriegbe said Nigeria ranks first in the world as a sickle cell endemic country, and was declared by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2006 as the capital of sickle cell disease in the world.
Sickle cell anaemia is a disease and inherited disorder of haemoglobin (SS) from either or both parents of a child.
The disease affects millions of people globally.
According to Oloriegbe, the bill, when passed and assented to, will provide the needed legal framework for the prevention, control and management of the disease, as well as avert early deaths and unnecessary medical expenses.
“The disease has the potential of affecting Nigeria’s aspiration of attaining goal three — good health and well-being of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of 2020 — unless special attention is paid to the prevention and management of the disease.
“The bill will strengthen existing structure, encourage and strengthen support groups and other groups to be able to assess the effectiveness or otherwise of the control strategies in place to eliminate sickle cell disease”, he stated.