Sickle cell disease: Expert advocates inclusion of health education in elementary school curriculum

Sickle cell disease: Expert advocates inclusion of health education in elementary school curriculum

Wednesday, June 19, 2019 5:41 pm


 

A Consultant Hematologist, Dr. Valentine Omoifo, has called for the inclusion of health education in the basic school curriculum to enable pupils learn about their health from early age.

Omoifo who is the Chairman of Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Edo State branch, made the call while addressing journalists to mark the world sickle cell disease day.

He also urged the federal government to invest more in the training of specialist doctors for the management of sickle cell disease sufferers.

According to him, “Why sickle cell disease is important for us as an association is the need for enlightenment of the general public about it.

“People are supposed to be enlightened to know what their genotype is. Our own aim is to try and curtial this disease as much as possible because of the numerous complications it can cause.

“We will advise people to know their genotype before they marry, so that if they happen to have carriers of the sickle cell, they will not marry another carrier too, so that they will not have children that will be sufferers.

“This disease is terrible. Children who suffer from it go through traumatic experiences that eventually keep the family from being happy it is a disease that affect all organs of the body and could lead to several complications like bone damage, renal and kidney failure, stroke, blindness and seizure disorders.

“We want government to be more proactive, to be more serious with encouraging and sponsoring health education, campaign programmes, starting from elementary school.

“The government can even incorporate health education into basic school curriculum to enable pupils learn about their health from early age, so that as they grow, they will get to know about their blood groups and the importance of such in their future life.”

The Consultant Hematologist noted that having such knowledge will equip them for their future life.

“In terms of management, since sickle cell disease is a life-long disease, many parents cannot cope with the management alone. For this reason, government should subsidise their therapy, they should invest in the training of specialist doctors for the management of sickle cell patients and ensure that their treatment centres run properly.

“We see them as patients with special needs and so government should please, give them special attention,” Omoifo said.

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