The Nigeria Senate has enacted a bill aimed at preventing, controlling, and managing sickle cell anaemia in Nigeria.
Why Was the Bill Enacted?
The bill is the aftermath of a presentation by the Senate Committee on Health (Secondary and Tertiary).
Sen. Yahaya Oloriegbe (APC-Kwara), in his capacity as the Chairman of the Committee, gave a presentation on the subject. During the presentation, he informed all present that sickle cell anaemia is a genetically inherited disease of Haemoglobin (SS). The disorder is obtained from either one or both parents of a child. Also, approximately one hundred million people are battling this disease globally.
He further disclosed that Nigeria ranks number 1 in the world as a sickle cell endemic country. And in 2006, the World Health Organisation (WHO) proclaimed Nigeria as the capital of sickle cell disease in the world.
In addition, he warned that the attainment of Goal 3 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of 2020, will be drastically affected if adequate attention is not paid to the control and management of sickle cell anaemia.
According to Sen. Yahaya Oloriegbe, the passing of the bill would solidify the legal framework for the prevention, control and management of this disease. Moreover, it will prevent early deaths and excessive medical expenditures by families.
In his words,
“The bill will strengthen the existing structure, encourage and strengthen support groups and other groups to be able to assess the effectiveness or otherwise of the control strategies in place to eliminate sickle cell disease.”
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