Nigeria has highest number of Sickle cell disease in the world- Prof. Abdulwahab

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…..As FOMWAN organises seminar to curtail it’s spread


A Consultant Physician and Neorologist at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH), Professor Abdulwasiu Abdulwahab has revealed that Nigeria has the highest prevelence of the people living with sickle cell anemia in the whole world.

Professor Abdulwahab disclosed thisbon Sunday during a genotype seminar organised by the Youth wing of the Kwara branch of the Federation of Muslim Women Association in Nigeria (FOMWAN) held at the association’s Secretariat, Fate road, Ilorin, the Kwara state capital.

The Professor of Neorology lamented that it is very alarming and disturbing that Nigeria has the highest number of people living with Sickle Cell traits across the globe.

He therefore called on Federal Government to promolgate a law that will protect the interests of people living with sickle cell anemia in Nigeria, adding that this and other demands by the Sickle Cell Foundation in Nigeria should be accorded with utmost priority.

According to him, the law when fully enacted and implemented will not only cater for the needs of the victims of the sickle cell anemia but also lead to it’s reduction in the country.

He commended FOMWAN for organising seminar on genotype saying that “If we look at the ramifying effect of not testing the genotype before going into marriage, then we would appreciate this seminar because it came at the right time”.

“Sickle cell anemia is a big problem and people should forget what we usually hear that love is blind, love used to be blind but love should not be blind again because we have the knowledge. If someone has sickle cell aneamia, the person is already carrying the two genes and is going to manifest with disease” he adeed.

In her lecture at the event, Dr Aishat Otuyo of Sobi Specialist Hospital, Alagbado area, Ilorin advised parents to always encourage their children who have attained marriageable age to consider genotype screening very important before going into marriage.

Also, Dr Mrs Barakat Raji of the Faculty of Law, University of Ilorin enjoined potential husband and wife to give priority attention to the issue of genotype before selecting future partner so as to live happily and harmoniously as couple.
While saying that it is very expensive to rear children with sickle cell anemia because of frequency in visiting hospital, Dr Barakat said there is strong nexus between sickle cell and poverty.

In her comment, the Chairperson, FOMWAN Youth wing, Alhaja Baliqees Oladimejia said the seminar was to create awarness across the 16 local Government areas of the state about danger inherent in going into marriage without adequate attention to the issue of genotype test.

She explained that FOMWAN invited parents and grown up children to participate at the seminar for them to be enlightened and duly educated about the importance of genotype test.

Speaking on the welfare of those living with sickle cell, Oladimeji said FOMWAN will continue to pray for them, visit them regularly and render financial assistance when need arises.

In his sermon , Ustadh Yusuf Abdulganiyy said courtship is not allowed in Islam and advised potential husband and wife to enter into marriage in line with the dictate of Islam as explictly enuncited by Prophet Muhammed (SAW) in the glorious Quran and Hadith.

Also, former Executive Secretary of the Kwara State Pilgrimage Board, Alhaja Fatimah Abolore said the rationale behind the seminar was to allow the young geneation to be aware of the danger inherent in giving birth to sicklers.

She advised the current generation not be sentimental about the choice of partners, saying that they should consider the health implication so as breed a more healthy generation and generations unborn.

Highlights of the event included free genotype test for all participants, questions and answers among others.

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