Deji Elumoye in Abuja
As Nigeria joined other nations wednesday to mark the World Sickle Cell Day, a member of the National Assembly, Senator Chimaroke Nnamani, has advocated for full and free sero-diagnosis and identification of all sickle cell patients and carriers of sickle cell gene in all government hospitals.
Nnamani, a medical doctor by profession , made the call in a statement issued in Abuja where he advocated for “free counselling for all sickle cell patients and treatment in all government health facilities, including out-patient services, specifically emergency room attention and sickle cell clinics.
“Free in-patient service in all government health facilities and free drugs and other modalities for therapy at all government hospitals,” he said.
According to him, appropriate data collection and documentation at birth, and reflection of data and relevant forms, including death certificates, as well as free family and marriage counselling at all government health facilities and tertiary institutions should be ensured .
The senator added that increased public enlightenment and awareness/funding and support of sickle cell societies and like organisations, should also be carried out by relevant organisations .
“Today, as we draw attention towards Sickle Cell Day, a day set aside by the United Nations General Assembly Resolution A/63/L/63 of December 22, 2008, we salute all “sicklers” including sickle cell patients, their mothers, fathers, siblings and all dependants. When a sickle cell patient suffers, the entire family and defendants also suffer.
“As the saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child; so also it takes a village to take care of a sickle cell patient. To all sickle cell patients, I say to them we are all in it together. As we await full commencement of the ninth Assembly of the Nigeria Senate, our agenda is very clear as far as quality health care delivery system is concerned”, Nnamani added.