Expert harps on sickle cell management

SCD-diagram

Sickle Cell Disease diagram

Sickle Cell Disease diagram

Mr Adesina Adetunbosun, Founder, Babajide Olowodola Foundation, a sickle-cell NGO, has advised sickle-cell patients to keep warm and avoid extreme temperature in the management of sickle-cell during harmattan.

Adetunbosun gave the advice in an interview with newsmen on Tuesday in Abuja.

He said that cold and extreme temperatures could increase sickling and trigger painful event.

He said extreme temperatures such as dry, cold and dusty winds associated with harmattan season affects sickle cell anaemia patients thereby triggering crises in them.

Adetunbosun explained that sickle cell anaemia also known as sickle disorder or sickle cell disease is a common genetic condition due to a haemoglobin disorder inherited from both parents.

He said sickle cell is associated with a number of acute and chronic health problems such as infections, attacks of severe pain (sickle-cell crisis) and stroke, with an increased risk of death.

“Sickle-cell warriors must maintain cleanliness and dress in layers of clothes as cold temperature and unhealthy environment could trigger episodes of pain, fatigue and frequent infections.

“There is need for them to drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration, a balanced diet and dietary supplement to help keep their body immune system strong.
“It is important for them to stay healthy as possible, which means eating healthy foods and vegetables as well as getting enough sleep.

“People with sickle cell anaemia do not have enough normal red blood cells, which leads to frequent fatigue, hence the need for adequate rest.

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“Children with the condition can play and exercise, but should not get too tired, too hot or too cold and should avoid activities that leave them excessively exhausted,’’ he advised.

He said severe childhood infection could be prevented by getting them fully immunised as well as maintaining personal and environmental hygiene at all times.

Adetunbosun stated that getting the right nutrition on a daily basis would further help worriers reach their full growth potential.

He cautioned sickle-cell warriors on excessive consumption of alcohol and cigarette, warning that alcohol consumption can lead to dehydration while cigarette smoke could reduce the amount of oxygen in the bloodstream.

Besides, he urged parents and guardians to acquire knowledge in managing the condition at home thereby recognising serious symptoms and when to seek medical care for severe pain.