Persons living with Sickle cell in Edo state say over 15 of their colleagues have died in the last 90days due to the government’s decision to shut down of the State Sickle Cell Centre, in the state capital.
Mr Charles Edigin, who is the founder of the group, Edicharson Foundation for Sickle Cell disclosed this weekend at a seminar to mark this year’s World Sickle Cell Day in Benin City.
He said the avoidable deaths were due to the nonchalant attitude of the government and especially poor funding, the wilful neglect and abandonment of the centre.
Hr called on the Edo State government to revisit the centre and reactivate it because it is the only facility dedicated to persons living with sickle cell in the state.
“Why will the government shutdown the centre? Why has it neglected to fund it? Why the discrimination against us? We are citizens like others but government has chosen to forsake us”.
Mr Edigin asked, “Why is there no policy or action plan on the sickle cell disease control? Why is there no budgetary provision for sickle cell disease? Why is there no funds for research and above all why is there no free health-care for sufferers?”.
Edigin who is a person living with sickle cell however, appealed to the government to save close to 4-million Nigerians, “from a life of pain, agony, neglect, stigmatization and premature deaths”.
He however said the incidence of sickle cell anaemia can be checked, reduced drastically and possibly eradicated if people take the genotype test, especially before marriage.#