The Consultant Haematologist, University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH), Professor Mathew Ebose Enosolease, has said complications of Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) which are seen in every organ are largely preventable.
The Professor of Haematology and Blood Transfusion, University of Benin (UNIBEN) said this while delivering an inaugural lecture at the 203rd Inaugural Lecture Series of the University of Benin entitled “This Sickle Blood Must Not Go Awry: The Haematologist Must Intervene.”
He said many of blood forming organs and tissues involved in preventing excessive bleeding and clothing, can go awry.
According to him, so much is known about SCD and so much more remains unknown, adding that, “SCD is the commonest genetic disorder which majorly afflict the black man as hematologic diseases particularly the anaemia are the commonest diseases in the world.
“Confined majorly to black people, it is generally distributed in malaria endemic regions of the world. Thus, it is heavily represented in tropical Africa, particularly Nigeria for reason of high population and to a lesser extent in South-East Saudi Arabia, Greece, Italy (Sicily) and some isolated ethnic groups in India who are known to have genetic link with Africans.
“Its prevalence according to World Health Organisation (WHO), 75 per cent of people with SCD live in sub-sahara Africa and Nigeria alone as far back as 1979 and accounted for more than 100,000 yearly new cases. Therefore, to safely estimate SCD burden in Nigeria; at crude birth rate of 39.4/1000, Nigeria with estimated population of 200 million, will have 226,640 new born per year with sickle cell disease. And this indeed is a heavy and serious burden.
“The management of SCD is fraught with several issues, from non-availability of neonatal screening or diagnosis to extremely poor resources available for the management. Despite the expected yearly births of 2.8 per cent of all new-borns, no concerted effort has been made to stem this tide.’’
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