Sickle Cell Hope Alive Foundation (SCHAF) is set to promote the use of a 10-minute point of care rapid test kit and Hemotypes kit to improve access and reduce the wrong diagnosis of sickle cell disease in the country.
SCHAF’s President, Professor Adeyinka Falusi launches the kit at a workshop on knowing your genotype and empowerment programme for 10 caregivers and people living with sickle cell disease in Ibadan.
The occasion also had the launch of seven KYG (Know your genotype) school clubs, where schools like Abadina Secondary School, University of Ibadan, Christ the King College, Basorun, Lead City International and Urban Day Grammer School were present.
The schools were provided with information and education materials, T-shirts and others materials.
Professor Falusi said the point of care rapid test kit can provide an accurate and on the spot diagnosis of blood genotypes, even in rural settings, since it requires no special facility and the result will be available within 10 minutes.
The medical expert said the test kit has already been adopted by the World Health Organisation.
Professor Falusi said individuals genotypes are determined by the type of genes they had inherited from both parents and different from blood groups.
According to her, sickle cell disease is the most prevalent inherited disease in Nigeria that is very easily diagnosed and controllable by youths, urging the KYG clubs to help create awareness on the disease and reduce the stigma of persons with the disease, as well as inculcate positive attitudinal changes to ensure that they make informed decisions later in life to prevent sickle cell disease in their future offsprings.
Oyo State Commissioner for Health Dr Bashir Bello who spoke through Director, Public Health, Dr Wole Lawal said that sickle cell disease was rife in Nigeria and has economic, social and medical implications.
Dr Bello appreciated SCHAF’s effort in its prevention, care and research into the disease as well as the empowerment of people affected by the disease.
He stated that people with sickle cell disease face a lot of complications of the disease, including pain, and advised everyone to know their genotype even before marriage.