Sanwo-Olu inaugurates LASUTH Paediatric Sickle Cell Centre

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By Oluwafunke Ishola/Aderonke Ojediran

Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Friday inaugurated a Paediatric Sickle Cell Centre donated to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) by the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals (OSSAP-SDGs).

Speaking during the inauguration of the Centre, Sanwo-Olu said it would provide comprehensive care that includes early diagnosis, advanced treatment, and continued management to children suffering from the debilitating condition of sickle cell.

According to him, the centre will serve as a hub for research, education, foster a greater awareness and a deeper understanding of sickle cell disease.

“This will not only transform our total healthcare landscape but will add to the number of childcare facilities that already exist in our state health institutions.

“It will raise the capacity of the state’s medical services, and very importantly, contribute to improving the state’s infant and maternal mortality index,” he said.

The governor noted that the centre would provide an environment where children could receive holistic care tailored to their individual needs, from medical treatment to psychological support.

“We believe that this will ensure that every child that has an opportunity to come to this facility will come out healthier, better, and they’ll be able to fulfill their life,” he said.

Earlier, Dr Tunji Alausa, Minister of State for Health and Social Welfare, restated the Federal Government’s committment to combat non-communicable diseases and improve healthcare outcomes for Nigerians.

Alausa said that sickle cell disease, alongside malaria, cancer, hypertension, diabetes, and other non-communicable diseases represent a substantial health burden for the country, worsening morbidity and mortality of citizens.

“At the federal level, we recognise the urgent need to address these challenges and are committed to building a robust infrastructure to manage and mitigate the impact in collaboration with our subnational government.

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“The establishment of this state-of-the-art Sickle Cell Centre is a testament to the dedication of the SDG office to provide quality healthcare and infrastructure to our people.

“This centre is not merely a building, it is a beacon of hope for many and a cornerstone of our strategy to enhance healthcare services nationwide,” he said.

The minister stressed the importance of leveraging the resources to its fullest potential, ensuring that it delivers on its promise to improve lives.

Alausa advised subnational governments to form strategic partnerships for healthcare and human capital development, stressing that through collaboration a resilient healthcare system capable of meeting the demand of population would emerge.

He commended the Lagos State Government and OSSAP-SDGs on their partnership to provide top-tier cancer care to children and their commitment to innovative research.

Also, Dr Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals, said that the centre would enhance the quality of care to children suffering from Sickle Cell disease.

Orelope-Adefulire noted that the centre was an intervention to reduce the number of under five child mortality and strengthen the attainment of SDGs target in the country.

Contributing, Prof. Adetokunbo Fabamwo, Chief Medical Director, LASUTH, said Nigeria had one of the highest rates of sickle cell disease globally, with up to three million people living with the condition.

Fabamwo noted that the condition contributes significantly to childhood morbidity and mortality.

“It is therefore apt to have a centre like this to offer preventive and therapeutic care to child sufferers.

“The establishment of this centre takes a huge chunk of load off the usually crowded therapeutic clinics and wards,” he said. (NAN)

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