By Augusta Uchediunor
The Sickle Cell Foundation of Nigeria (SCFN) on Friday graduated and awarded certificates to a new set of its Genetic Counsellors.
Speaking at the Closing/Certificate Award Ceremony Programme of the “20th Genetic Counselling Training Course on Sickle cell Disorder”, Dr Annette Akinsete, National Director/CEO of SCFN said that Sickle Cell Disorder had gradually become a problem in Nigeria.
According to her, Nigeria has the highest rate of cases of the disorder hence the need to scale up innovative strategies to stem the rise.
“No doubts, Nigeria is the country with the highest cases of Sickle Cell Disorder in the whole world.
“For that reason, we need to show the rest of the world the way to go regarding efforts around Sickle Cell programing,” she said.
Akinsete added that the National Sickle Cell Centre was established by Sickle Cell Foundation Nigeria as a response to the call by the World Health Organisation (WHO), which decreed that “in any country where a condition is adjudged to have a public concern, there should be facilities, centres set up to address issues around that country”.
She commended the Founder of SCFN, Prof. Olu Akinyanju, for filling that gap by establishing the National Sickle Cell Centre.
She said SCFN services included prevention, treatment, bone marrow transplant, counselling, support and cure of carriers.
According to Akinsete, SFCN is in partnership with the Federal Government and the Lagos State Government.
The SCFN is also in partnership with Multichoice Nigeria.
She said that SCFN trained no fewer than 1,000 participants in the 20th edition of the Genetic Counselling Training Course.
She said that some of the trainees were Nigerians, as well as people from other African countries including Ghana, Syria Leone, Liberia, the Gambia, Tanzania and Uganda among others.
Akinsete said that SCFN also received enquiries from Europe, Australia and Canada on this special 20th edition of its training series.
She charged the trainees to always impact lives everywhere they go with the skills they have acquired from the training.
Some of those who participated in Genetic Counselling Training Course on Sickle cell Disorder told the News Agency of Nigeria that they were delighted and had learnt new things about managing and counselling those with the disorder alongside people who required such counselling. (NAN)www.nannews.ng
Edited by Vivian Ihechu