The Sickle Cell Support Society of Nigeria (SCSSN), an NGO, says it is collaborating with an American company to provide a kit that would detect Sickle Cell Haemoglobin in primary health care centres. Dr Obiageli Nnodu, the Vice Chairman of the society, made this known in Abuja on Wednesday during a pre-conference training workshop for the media and health care workers.

Nnodu said the training workshop was in commemoration of the 2015 World Sickle Cell Day coming up on June 19. She said the society want to reduce the burden of the disease by pushing the control of the disease to the primary health care level, with the strategic collaborations and research. “The innovation can be applied by people with even little education, the machine worked like pregnancy testing kit. “When this is done at primary health centres it gives room for immediate attention, and treatment of the disease,’’ she said.

Nnodu, who did not disclose the name of the US manufacturing firm, said the kit will also guide the health worker in referral for further diagnosis. She said the society want the media to raise sufficient information and create awareness on the disease so that people by themselves can voluntarily decide who their partners should be. “We are hoping that people will voluntarily refrain from doing things that will jeopardise the health of their future offspring. “Because we are in love we should not do things that will inflict pains on another human being,’’ said the don.

Also speaking at the occasion, Malam Muhammad Tola, the Head, Health and Gender Desk, News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), task the media to map out MDAs, NGOs, experts and technical partners promoting the course of sickle cell patients. “The media should create the space and airtime for SCD issues, the media must constantly engage various SCD experts, professionals and other stakeholders to achieve results,’’ he urged. Tola spoke on the role of the media in the control of sickle cell disease in Nigeria.

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