World Sickle Cell Day 2019: More Life-Saving Measures Needed

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As Bond Boss Says Disease not a Death Sentence

Poised to reduce the alarming rates of mortality and morbidity in people living with Sickle Cell Disorder (SCD)  in the country, with Nigeria having the highest burden in the world, Bond Chemicals Nigeria Limited, has stated its commitment to research and development in the manufacturing of new, innovative and high-quality pharmaceuticals in addressing the condition.

Disclosing this in a press release issued to Pharmanewsonline.com in commemorating the 2019 World Sickle Cell Day, a day celebrated on every 19 June to improve public awareness about the genetic disorder, the Managing Director, Bond Chemicals Nigeria Limited, Pharm. Aderemi Omotosho has said that aside increasing life expectancy, their product, Oxyurea also reduces the risk of anaemia and blood transfusion, in patients.

World Sickle Cell Day 2019: More Life-Saving Measures Needed
Sickle Cell awareness banner.

Pharm. Omotosho, who was represented by Mr Andrew Aina Oladipo, acting national marketing manager, revealed that the only cure for SCD is bone marrow transplant, which is only possible for a limited number of affected individuals who have suitable donors. He added that the other alternative is to resort to using available brands of hydroxyurea, to lessen the frequency of painful crises.

Omotosho asserted that comprehensive and holistic management from birth will go a long way in cutting down on SCD crisis, saying the implication of this is that a mother must know a child’s genotype from birth, in order for proper care to takeoff from birth.

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“In 2018, the Coalition of Sickle Cell Non-governmental Organisations in Nigeria which comprises 13 NGOs including Sickle Cell Foundation of Nigeria, Genotype Foundation, Noah’s Ark Foundation, Tony May Foundation, among others, declared that at least 150,000 children are born with sickle cell disease in Nigeria every year, while about 40 million Nigerians are healthy carriers of the sickle cell gene. What this means is that the high number of carriers of the gene in Nigeria (about 40 million) could amount to five African countries. So it is something we sincerely think we must give our utmost attention to,” he said.

While calling for increased advocacy on its prevention, treatment and management, Omotosho said  concerted efforts must be made towards reducing the SCD prevalence, adding that government must, as a matter of urgency, place SCD in its priority list and that people must be informed on how to avoid giving birth to sickle cell children.

The Bond Chemicals boss, however, noted that having sickle cell disorder is not the end of the world, adding that SCD is not a death sentence if the condition is adequately managed.

However, experts have advised people living with Sickle Cell Disorder to always ensure that they have high fluid intake; Healthy diet; Folic Acid supplementation; Pain medication; Vaccination and antibiotics for the prevention and treatment of infections; and a number of other therapeutic measures.

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