Sickle Cell Disease Is A Crisis That Can Be Managed!!

I got a sordid email from an unknown person, who must be a patient or a patient relative. It is more likely to be a patient relative. The words in the email was dense with anger. It was very obvious the writer was livid that the Doctors and Nurses, particularly, were not giving their best to her care. The email was clear, since the word ‘Noncharlant’ appeared severally in the text.


Genotype And Blood Group… Learn The Differences


Unfortunately most Nigerians, especially rural dweller, have little knowledge about the concept of genotype and what a wrong match would mean for couples who go on to have kids.

As shown in a published article on Nigerian Health Watch;

The study on the attitudes and awareness of youths in the Yaba Development Area found that 55% of young people aged 15–19 years old had no exposure to premarital counselling on genotypic profiling. This same group scored lowest in their knowledge of sickle cell disorder.

The sad reality is that most intending couples opt to stay silent on the issue and hope to weather the future storm when the crisis manifest.

Many people don’t know that for each pregnancy in which both parents are AS, there is a 25% chance of them giving birth to a child with the sickle cell genotype. The implication of this statistic is that each pregnancy is a mutually exclusive event and the chances of having a sickle cell baby does not reduce with successive pregnancies. Every pregnancy has a 1 in 4 chance of producing a baby with this disorder.

Are you aware that, while 70% of the world’s population are carriers, Nigeria has the highest prevalence of sickle cell trait in the world, with 25% of adults being carriers of the trait. Nigeria also accounts for 50% of sickle cell disease (SCD) births worldwide, and of every 1,000 babies born in Nigeria, 20 are born with Sickle Cell Disease, which means that they carry the SS genotype.

Severity of clinical manifestation of the disorder vary from person to person, with Life expectancy hovering between 40 – 60 years in developed countries and 20 – 30 years in underdeveloped economies.

Parents or care givers should also be aware that some patients have been known to live a fun-filled life despite being sicklers (ie with the SS-gene), only to die from other causes not related to the sickle cell disorder.

Learn to watch out for common precipitating factors in our environment like

  • Dehydration
  • Infection
  • Stress

My clinical experience have shown that dehydration and infection top the chart in our environment. So my candid advice is for all care-givers should ensure that every sickler-patient gets adequate fluids and keep the mosquitoes away from them by the use of insecticide treated nets. holds that efforts should be intensified in educating and counselling young adults on issues about Genotype And Love. Reasoning and reality must prevail.


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