A medical expert, Dr David Ajibade, says children below the age of 12 with sickle cell disorder, can live an almost normal life, if proper care is instituted early enough for them.
Ajibade, also the Executive Director, Brain/Body Foundation (BBF), an NGO, made the assertion on Tuesday at a virtual interactive session to commemorate the 2020 World Sickle Cell Day (WSCD) in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the virtual interactive session was organised by BBF in collaboration with the Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation (NIDO), Washington, D.C. U.S chapter and supported by the Federal Ministry of Health.
Theme of the lecture was: "Breaking The Cycle of Pain."
He said that more awareness should be created based on improved knowledge of how to manage the sickle cell disorder.
"Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) has four areas of maximum vulnerability hotspots, which include reduced immunity, increased free radical damage, increased inflammatory processes and reduced nitric oxide production.
"If all four are adequately addressed, the quality of life of sickle cell patients will significantly improve," Ajibade said.
He stressed the need to improve awareness about SCD and better regulation of laboratories that carried out the genotype test.
"Too many laboratories give false-negative results in their genotype tests.
"This has created bigger problems in the prevalence of the condition, because intending couples were given the wrong diagnosis.
"Any laboratory that cannot guarantee 98 per cent accuracy, should be banned from performing such test," Ajibade said.
Also, Mr Abi Jinadu-Mustapha, Vice President of NIDO, Washington DC Chapter, promised to continue to explore more ways to ensure the chapter's contributions and support to the SCD awareness.
Jinadu-Mustapha said that the outcome of this virtual session had shown beyond doubt, the need for more advocacy, awareness and medical support for SCD in Nigeria.
"SCD is a global health problem affecting millions of people around the world.
"It is estimated that approximately 150,000 children are born with sickle cell disease in Nigeria every year, while about 40 million Nigerians are healthy carriers of the sickle cell gene," he said.
BBF is a non-profit organisation established to help raise the level of health and human performance of people everywhere, while NIDO in the Americas is a non-profit organisation that draws resources from the synergy of all Nigerian Professionals in the Diaspora.