By Muhammad Sani G. Chinade, Damaturu
An NGO, Sickle Cell Eradication Initiative, led by Public Health specialist, Aliyu Usman Mohammed, paid courtesies on Abdullahi Bego, Commissioner Yobe State Ministry of Home Affairs, Information, and Culture at the State Secretariat complex in Damaturu to seek the support of the Ministry in their public education drive around the Sickle Cell disease.
With an impressive five-year ‘strategic plan’ for stemming Sickle Cell across Yobe State, Aliyu Usman Mohammed said his NGO is poised to help provide the support that sickle cell patients need and ensure that people across the state have the information they need to care for patients and avoid marriages between men and women with the AS genotype so that the possibility of giving birth to children with Sickle Cell can be avoided.
The Commissioner while responding said “I assured the NGO that the Ministry will partner with you to spread the word. Our State TV and Radio services will step up the effort in healthcare education by bringing doctors and other specialists to talk about the disease”.
He also told the NGO that the administration of Governor Mai Mala Buni prioritizes healthcare by making significant investments in infrastructure, equipment, and personnel so that the people of the state have access to quality, affordable healthcare services.
The State University Teaching Hospital (YSUTH) according to him has also set up a dedicated once-in-a-week Clinic to cater to Sickle Cell patients with a visiting consultant hematologist.
“YSUTH also provides education and pre-marital counseling for AS genotype persons so they understand the implications – and the possibility of giving birth to a child with Sickle Cell – before they become husbands and wives”.
“The teaching Hospital is also currently working to partner with some NGOs in order to provide free medical services to Sickle Cell patients”.