By Martha Robert
Sickle cell children can live long unlike widespread but wrong belief that children with sickle cell disorder cannot live beyond 21 years.
A medical practitioner, Dr (Mrs) Anuzie Odia made the clarification while speaking at a counselling programme organised by Crimson Bow Sickle Cell Initiative at Alimosho Local Government. She also advised parents of children with sickle cell disorder (SCD) not to lose hope on the survival of their children.
Odia said, “I want parents whose children have SCD to keep hope alive. Do not allow the challenge to discourage you. Do not form the wrong impression which is common in the society by thinking that children with sickle cell cannot live longer than 21 years”.
She said a lot of people have been spreading the wrong information and urged the parent to drop the idea. “There are many people born with SCD and many of them have lived long and attained greater heights in life. It all depends on giving children with SCD quality medical attention, balanced diet, adequate and prompt medical care”, Odia said.
The medical doctor mentioned important things which parents of children with SCD must do. These include consciously boosting immunity of children with SCD, giving the children adequate nutrition, adequate rest, giving them clean and safe drinking water regularly and constant medical check-up at least twice in a year. She said parents who do these things constantly can be rest assured that their children will survive and live long despite Sickle Cell Disorder.
Odia said sickle cell disorder is not a contagious disease unlike widespread but erroneous belief in the society. She also said that children should feel free to play with children with SCD as they cannot contact the disease by playing with children with SCD.
The Chief Executive Officer of the NGO, Miss Timilehin Edwin told newsmen that more enlightenment programmes will be organised in other Local government areas in Lagos state.