The wife of Katsina State Governor, Zulaihat Radda, has provided free antimalaria drugs to not less than 12,202 Sickle Cell Disease patients across the state.
Radda made this known while launching the distribution of the SCD and antimalarial drugs in the state on Monday.
She said that the support was pioneered by her pet project “Safe Space Humanitarian Initiative”, in collaboration with the state’s Ministry of Health.
The governor’s wife added that the project registered and provided drugs and support to 12,202 sickle cell patients across the zones of the state, explaining that “4,916 are from Katsina Zone, 3,612 from Funtua Zone and 3,674 from Daura Zone respectively.”
She recalled that the National Demographic Survey 2018 showed that the prevalence of SCD contributed to about eight percent of dismal national ‘under five’ mortality figures.
“However, in developed countries, major benefits in the health and survival of children with SCD have been attained through the implementation of effective, evidence-based interventions.
“Such interventions include newborn screening, counselling, prophylaxis for infection, enrollment in comprehensive care and stroke prevention.
“Such simple measures as health maintenance in sickle cell clinics, malaria infection, adequate nutrition and prompt treatment of crises have been beneficial in the management of SCD.
“These interventions are not available to the majority of our children, and there is no coordinated effort to control the disease.”
She, however, added that various individuals and societies are conducting advocacy, counselling, awareness campaigns, and sporadic population screening.
The efforts, she stressed, were done without planned integration into the existing healthcare system and the effect of the activities, was difficult to evaluate.
Radda further revealed that “SASHIN felt the need to collaborate with the state Ministry of Health to institute measures to prevent the occurrence of SCD.”
She said the collaboration will also provide effective treatment and supportive care to diagnosed patients.
Earlier, the Commissioner for Health, Alhaji Bashir Gambo-Saulawa, said that the ministry will continue to support SASHIN in its programmes.
He said that the administration of Gov. Dikko Radda prioritised healthcare reforms in its strategic development agenda “Building Your Future.”
The agenda, he said, included free sickle cell treatment and support, as well as the provision of malaria drugs.
He added that “to make and inform the health decision that will ensure healthy generations, there is a need to have free genotype and malaria screening among children.
“Considering the importance of this matter, the state government finds it necessary to support programmes that will allow individuals to know their status before getting married.”
SOURCE: Punch Healthwise