A medical expert, Dr. David Ajibade says children below the age of 12 with sickle cell disorder can live an almost normal life if proper care is instituted early enough for them, based on improved knowledge of how to manage the condition. Ajibade, who is the Executive Director ofBrain & Body Foundation (BBF), made this assertion during a virtual interactive session themed: Breaking The Cycle of Pain.
The meeting was organized by BBF in collaboration with the Nigerians In Diaspora Organisation (NIDO), Washington, D.C. Chapter and supported by the Nigeria Federal Ministry of Health. Participants were drawn from within and outside Nigeria. It was a part of the activities commemorating the 2020 World Sickle Cell Day (WSCD).
Also, a medical outreach for sickle cell patients was organized in Abuja on WSCD by BBF. The Office of the First Lady to the Federation was represented by Dr. Wole Aboderin, Special Assistant to the President on NGO Matters. In his speech, he expressed the desire of the First Lady to be part of the outreach in future while calling for improved care for people with SCD.
Ajibabe in his presentation spoke about the sickle cell disease (SCD) “hotspots” (the four areas of maximum vulnerability), which include: reduced immunity, increased free radical damage, increased inflammatory processes and reduced nitric oxide production. According to him, if all four are adequately addressed the quality of life of the sickle cell patient will significantly improve.
He emphasized the need to improve awareness about SCD and better regulation of laboratories that carry out the genotype test. “Too many labs give false-negative results in their genotype tests. This has created bigger problems in the prevalence of the condition because intending couples were given the wrong diagnosis. Any lab that can’t guarantee 98% accuracy should be banned from performing such test.”
Abi Jinadu-Mustapha, Vice President NIDO, Washington DC Chapter, who spoke on behalf of the Chapter President, Abayomi Animashaun re-emphasized the importance of the programme. “The outcome of this meeting has shown beyond doubt the need for more advocacy, awareness. and medical support for SCD in Nigeria. NIDO-DC Chapter will continue to explore more ways to make our contributions in this regard.”
SCD is a global health problem affecting millions of people around the world. It is estimated that approximately 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.
BBF is a Non-profit organization established to help raise the level of health and human performance of people everywhere. They focus on brain health and creating easy access to important nutrients for parents and caregivers of medically fragile children..nutrients which are critical to the healthy development of children.
NIDO in the Americas is a non-profit organization that draws resources from the synergy of all Nigerian Professionals in the Diaspora, to instill ethical consciousness and civic responsibility that will enhance the socio-economic advancement of Nigerians and humanity in general.
BBF WSCD 2020: (l-r) Dr. David Ajibade, Executive Director Brain & Body Foundation and Dr. Wole Aboderin, Special Adviser to the President on NGO Matters