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Sickle Cell: Go For Genotype Test Before Marriage, NGO Tells Nigerians

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(From Right to Left) Bilkisu Muhammad, Dr. Aliyu Waziri, Dr Adamu Maigari Musa, Prof Kabir Danja, Alh. Fahad Chikaji

By Austin Emmanuel:

An awareness Programme on sickle Cells anaemia has been held in zaria, Northwest Nigeria to commemorate the World Sickle Cells Day with a call on Nigerians to go for Genotype test before marriage.

Kaduna State Commissioner for Health, Dr Paul Manya Dogo gave the advice at a lecture organized by an NGO, Arewa Youth Trust Foundation in collaboration with Saffiyya Sickle Cells Foundation, touched on sickle cells anaemia, peaceful coexistence, girl child education and personal hygiene.

The Commissioner who was represented by the Medical Director, Limi Hospital, Dr Adamu  Maigari Musa, said the call was necessary in view of the hardship the victims went through and the need to reduce the spread of the disease.

Dr Maigari-Musa lauded the efforts of Arewa Youth Trust Foundation for organising the “educative and impressive lecture series,” which will be of beneficial not only to the state but the country at large.

Also speaking, A Consultant Hematologist at the Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital (ABUTH), Dr. Aliyu Waziri advised people to stop addressing the victims as sicklers, rather, they should be addressed as sickle cells anaemia patients.

The medical expert also spoke of the need for people to go for genotype test before marriage, adding that “it is very important for all to know their genotype.”

He explained that the disease was neither contagious nor communicable, but hereditary as a result of marriage between persons with AS and AS or between AS and SS.

In his presentation on Peaceful Coexistence, Prof Kabir Danja charged students and youths to promote peace at all times to pave way for national development.

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He identified some tendencies that could lead to conflict in the society to include poverty, religion, ethnicity and lack of self-help, among others.

Participants at the awareness program

Amina Shabba, a sickle cells anaemia patient and a 400 level student of Accounting at the Ahmadu Bello University, shared her experience on how she suffered several health failures which had almost cost her life as well as her academic and social being since from childhood till date .

She therefore urged couples to know their genotype before planning to get married so as to avoid given birth to a child that would suffer so much pains on a daily basis.

On her part, Bilkisu Muhammad, a Pharmacist from the Suffiyya Sickle Cells Foundation, encouraged the students on personal hygiene, while parents should support Girl-Child education

The Executive Chairman of Arewa Youth Trust Foundation, Fahad Chikaji, thanked the students and Hallmark International School management for always hosting the awareness program, which he noted, prepares students to broaden their knowledge ahead of their equals.

He advised the students to take advantage of the lectures to enhance their knowledge, while educating others.

Africa Prime News reports that the Foundation visited orphanage centres, at Gwargwaje and Tukur -Tukur, all in Zaria metropolis where it made some donations.


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