Senate passes bill to control sickle cell disease in Nigeria

Nigerian Senate

Nigerian Senate

The Nigerian Senate has passed a bill seeking to control and manage sickle cell anaemia, a genetically inherited disease in Nigeria.

The passage of the bill followed the consideration of a report by the Committee on Health (Secondary and Tertiary).

Chairman of the Committee, Senator Yahaya Oloriegbe (APC, Kwara Central), in his presentation, explained that sickle cell anaemia is a disease and inherited disorder of Haemoglobin (SS) from either or both parents of a child affecting nearly 100 million people globally.

According to the lawmaker, Nigeria ranks 1st in the world as the sickle cell endemic country and was declared by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2006 as the capital of sickle cell disease in the world.

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He warned that, “the disease has the potential of affecting Nigeria’s aspiration of attaining Goal 3 – Good Health and Well-being of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of 2020 unless special attention is paid to the prevention and management of the disease.”

Oloriegbe stressed that the bill would establish the much needed legal framework for the prevention, control and management of the continuous spread of the disease, as well as avert early deaths and unnecessary medical expenses by families.

“The bill will strengthen existing structure, encourage and strengthen support groups and other groups to be able to assess the effectiveness or otherwise of the control strategies in place to eliminate sickle cell disease” he added.