Jos – Dr Ezra Jatau, a Consultant Haematologist with Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH), has advocated for free treatment of people living with sickle cell disease in Nigeria.
The consultant made the suggestion on Monday in Jos at a symposium organised by Mr Yaji Ibrahim, a medical student of Bingham University.
The event tagged ”Stand Down Sickle cell Disease 2016″, was aimed at creating more awareness on the dangers of the disease.
According to Jatau, treatment of sickle cell anaemia requires huge resources, hence the need for government to step in and make the treatment free in all public hospitals.
”It is no longer news that treating sickle cell disease is very expensive and very frustrating.
”We all know that, this a disease that stays in people for life, which means they will need to be medically maintained for lifetime.
”This demands serious and huge financial involvement, and most people get to die because they lack the financial wherewithal to take care of themselves.
”So, I feel, government can enact some policies whereby those living with this disease can be treated free especially at government hospitals.
”It will go a long way to cushion the suffering of those whose loved ones are living with the disease, thereby reducing the rate of mortality in the society,” he said.
Jatau, however, said prevention remains the best way in handling the disease, and charged intending couples to ascertain their genotype before getting married.
The consultant urged medical personnel and the public not to stigmatise people living with the disease, stressing that care and concern to victims elongate their lives.
He also urged government to create more awareness and sponsor researches to stem the spread of the disease in the country.
On his part, Ibrahim, the convener, said the symposium was organised to raise awareness of the disease, as most people were ignorance of it.
He added that the symposium was to push for a law that would compel prospective couples to know their genotype before marriage.
”While the doctors may know the medical implication of sickle cell anaemia on the society, there is the need for lawyers to all make the position of the law known in this regard.
”So, the essence of this is basically to proffer solution to the looming problems that usually arise as a result of the continues spread of this disease,” he said
Ibrahim pledged to carry the campaign on sickle cell across the country, to ensure that people become knowledgeable about the diseases, its management and ways to avoid contracting it. (NAN)