Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City
The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has commended eHealth Africa for their donation of Rapid Diagnostic Kits to improve genotype testing in the state.
The governor noted that this was one area the people were concerned about, adding that his administration has restructured the sickle cell centre last year with some funds.
He reiterated commitment to improve the welfare of sickle cell patients, pointing out that Rapid Diagnostic Kits donated by the organisation would be used for detecting sickle cell genotype in the state.
The governor who spoke during the commemoration of the 2019 World Sickle Cell Day, held at the Sickle Cell Centre in Benin City, the Edo State capital, said the incidence of sickle cell anaemia can be checked, reduced drastically and possibly eradicated if people take the test to know their genotype, especially before marriage and after delivery of babies.
According to him, the state government was concerned about the welfare of persons living with sickle cell and would continue to collaborate with development partners to improve support to the centre.
Also speaking, the Programme Manager, Health Delivery System, eHealth Africa, Muhammed Hassan, said the kits will help in detecting genotype of about one million people in the state.
He urged government to increase advocacy campaign to encourage people to know their genotypes so as to reduce the incidence of the public health challenge.
He said the organisation was partnering the Edo State government for the deployment of the test kits across the state, and urged sickle cell patients to enroll for the state’s proposed health insurance scheme.
He added that the organisation was currently digitising data of about 15,000 patients at the centre to allow for the proper policy formulation for sickle cell patients.
The President of the Sickle Cell Club, Mr Aigbonoga Asekome, thanked Governor Obaseki for his support and called for speedy passage of a bill to strengthen the operations of the sickle cell centre.