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Centre trains health workers on guidelines for sickle cell management

The Centre of Excellence for Sickle Cell Disease Research and Training (CESRTA), University of Abuja, has trained health workers on the standard of care guidelines…

The Centre of Excellence for Sickle Cell Disease Research and Training (CESRTA), University of Abuja, has trained health workers on the standard of care guidelines for sickle cell disease management.

The workers were drawn from the primary, secondary and tertiary levels of care in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Sickle cell disease is a genetic blood disorder that affects a person’s red blood cells and is passed on from parents.

Speaking during the programme, the Director of CESRTA, Professor Obiageli Nnodu, said the guidelines would help ensure uniform management of individuals with sickle cell disease across the country.

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She said it would guide healthcare professionals to provide appropriate care and also address gaps in care.

While noting that it was a multi-level standard of care guidelines, she said, “It will help guide what is done at tertiary centres, secondary health centres, Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs), and also at the home level. It also looks at every aspect from diagnosis to follow up, to proper management of acute complications or chronic complications.”

Prof Nnodu further said the newborn screening programme of the centre had screened 18,000 babies for sickle cell disease in the FCT, out of which 174 babies had been identified while 95 of them had sickle cell disease.

However, she said the centre was concerned that some mothers were not bringing babies who had the disease back for follow up.

A participant, Ladi Ladan, who is in charge of Tunga Maje PHC in Gwagwalada Area Council, one of the 22 sites for the newborn screening programme, said the guidelines was timely, noting that it would among others guide health workers on care that could be provided at PHCs before referral to secondary or tertiary levels of care.

She advised parents whose children had tested positive to sickle cell disease to first seek care for their babies to ensure early intervention rather than contesting the results and neglecting care.

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