HealthNewsWife of The Governor Supports Over 12,000 Sickle Cell Patients

A pet project, “Safe Space Humanitarian Initiative (SASHIN)” founded by the wife of Katsina state governor, Mrs Zulaihat Radda in collaboration with the state’s Ministry of Health has supported 12,202 patients of Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) with free drugs in 2023.

The governor’s wife made this known while launching the distribution of Sickle Cell Disease and antimalarial drugs in Katsina on Monday.

“The project registered and provided drugs and support to 12,202 sickle cell patients across the zones of the state 4,916 are from Katsina Zone, 3,612 from Funtua Zone, and 3,674 from Daura Zone respectively,” she said.

Mrs. Radda quoted the National Demographic Survey (NDS-2018) which shows that the prevalence of SCD contributed to about eight percent of dismal national ‘under five’ mortality figures.

“However, in developed countries, major benefits in the health and survival of children with SCD have been attained through the implementation of effective, evidence-based interventions.

“Such interventions include newborn screening, counseling, prophylaxis for infection, enrollment in comprehensive care, and stroke prevention.

“Such simple measures as health maintenance in sickle cell clinic, malaria infection, adequate nutrition, and prompt treatment of crisis have been beneficial in the management of SCD.

“These interventions are not available to the majority of our children, and there is no coordinated effort to control the disease,” she said.

Mrs. Radda added that various individuals and societies are conducting advocacy, counseling, awareness campaigns, and sporadic population screening, saying “SASHIN felt the need to collaborate with the state Ministry of Health to institute measures to prevent the occurrence of SCD.”

According to her, the collaboration will also provide effective treatment and supportive care to diagnosed patients, she said.

Earlier, state Commissioner for Health, Alhaji Bashir Gambo-Saulawa, said Gov. Dikko Radda’s administration has prioritized healthcare reforms in its strategic development agenda “Building Your Future” and that the ministry will continue to support SASHIN programs that included free sickle cell treatment and support, as well as the provision of malaria drugs.

“To make and inform the health decision that will ensure healthy generations, there is a need to have free genotype and malaria screening among children.

“Considering the importance of this matter, the state government finds it necessary to support programmes that will allow individuals to know their status before getting married,” he added.

Hassan Umar Shallpella (Regional Correspondent)

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