Lagos plans policy on sickle cell disorder

sickle-cellLagos State Ministry of Health Sickle Cell Control Programme Coordinator, Dr. Olajumoke Oyenuga, yesterday disclosed that plans are on to formulate a policy on sickle cell disorder (SCD), which affects over four million Nigerians.

Speaking at a media workshop at the Sickle Cell Foundation, Nigeria (SCFN) in Lagos, she said the state government has a policy on SCD, adding that work on this has not been concluded.

According to Oyenuga, a committee on SCD was inaugurated earlier this year and plans are ongoing to produce a comprehensive work plan for management of the disorder in the state.

She further noted that a technical team, which includes academicians and health experts on SCD has also been set aside by the committee and by the time this is concluded and presented to the governor, more activities on the project would spread all over the state.

“All these activities are part of the developmental process to make sure we implement the proposed policy,” she added.Oyenuga, who represented the health commissioner, said that part of the activities the policy would highlight on if eventually implemented is pre-natal diagnosis and free screening in the state’s health facilities, among others.

She added that: “This is still an ongoing work and I cannot precisely give you a time frame, but as soon as this is confirmed by the technical team, it would be communicated.”

Answering questions on plans by the state to establish a facility for Bone Barrow Transplant (BMT), a remedy for the disorder, she stated that: “BMT is a cure for it but I would not want to say much about this because there are still some things that are being done underground.”

Oyenuga explained that: “Without money we cannot do so many things, but when there is enough funds and a willing government like we have now, a lot would be achieved. We have four years and beyond, so I believe things would get better with time.”

She informed journalists that the state’s health facilities offer treatment, diagnosis and capacity building for both patients and health care givers respectively. “And at the ministry level, we have produced information materials which we distributed to health facilities and individuals,” she said.

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