Pfizer, Sickle Cell Group Seek Government’s Support

Image

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

Government has been urged to give more support to treatment, management and control of sickle cell disease in Nigeria.

This plea was made by the Sickle cell Support Society of Nigeria (SCSSN) and a leading pharmaceutical firm, Pfizer.

Speaking at a conference organised by SCSSN in support of Pfizer in Enugu last week, Professor of Hematology at the Muhumbili University of Tanzania, Lucio Luzzatto, who was the keynote speaker, echoed sentiments shared by others that government must pass a bill on sickle cell control and management to better insure the life of the people living with the disease.

On his part, Medical Director of Pfizer, Dr Kodjo Soroh, submitted that the high death rate of sickle cell disorder can be prevented through proper management and increased disease awareness programmes in rural areas.

He said there is no way government can better manage the situation without making policies that will guarantee treatment for people with the disease.

The Medical Director stressed that Pfizer will continue to support activities on how policies can be improved to adequately impact on Sickle cell patients.

According to a Professor of Paediatric Haematology and Chainman, Sickle Cell Support Society of Nigeria, Professor Adekunle Adekile, government need to be fully involved in order to reduce the burden of the disease in the communities.

He also identified poor leadership on the part of the government as being responsible for the snail paced action against Sickle Cell in Nigeria and called on the National Assembly to revisit the Sickle Cell Act brought before the house four years ago with a view to passing it.

“The chunk of the problem lies on the Government because over the years, they have paid lip service to Sickle Cell Disease control and management.

“Government should make policies on SCD a serious one so that life of patients can be insured. The National Assembly should revisit and possibly pass the Sickle Cell Act to ensure that people with the disease are covered”, he said.

According to Prof Adekile, Sickle Cell is a disease that is common all over the world, particularly in Nigeria which has the largest burden with a total number of 1,500 children born every year with the disease.

Prof Adekile said that the problem of Sickle cell is pervasive and many of the patients live in the rural areas, pointing out that the care in the tertiary or secondary centres are not enough.

He regretted that the government has not paid adequate attention to tackling Sickle Cell Disease noting that the disease cannot be controlled until a comprehensive National policy for the Control and management of the patients is introduced.

On her part, the Director, Corporate Affairs Pfizer for Sub-Saharan Africa, said the community networking is critical to achieving the aim of reducing the burden of Sickle Cell in our communities. She noted that Sickle Cell is not a death sentence even as she advised parents to always identify with organisations that are committed to tackling the scourge.

Also speaking during the conference, the Director, Comprehensive Sickle Cell Centre in Ghana, Professor Kwaku Frempong said that most people who are born with Sickle Cell disease in Africa are not diagnosed and many of them die as children. He observed that Government are not aware of the impact of SCD on childhood mortality while noting that there is no country in the whole of Africa that has programmes for new born screening.

“Our Government must step up measures and provide some supplements so that people can be treated as the medical cost is usually beyond what people can manage,” he said.

The Marketing Officer of Assene-Laborex Limited, a subsidiary of Biomedomics, Pharm Santos Onuigbo, charged young people to know their genotype early enough before going into marriage, adding that the company is committed to ensuring that people get the awareness about their state and better treatment against the disease.

He maintained that the company is partnering with Non-Governmental Organizations to get maximum grassroots mobilisation against the disease.

A participant at the conference, Miss Grace Ocheigo, a student participant from Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU was all praise to SCSSN for another opportunity to interact and meet people that would have cost much to meet were it not for the meeting. The student participant said the student have a greater role to play in curbing the burden of the disease.

“I want stakeholders to use students in the campaign to reduce the burden of the disease in the country because they are more vibrant and are closer to SCD patients that are older people.

“Young people relate more their problems to their peers and when these students are speaking it will have more effects because youths are naturally keen to listen to their mates on an issue. By so doing, they open up, the students will then know how to follow them up” she said.

She appealed to the Government and the NGOs to make screening materials available to medical students so that they can be fully engaged in the process in as much as grassroots mobilisation is concerned.

Other participants at the conference praised the meeting and said it gave them the opportunity to ask questions pertaining to clinical practice which were answered by seasoned practitioners.

They also said the meeting enabled them to network and be involved in collaborative research into new trends in Sickle Cell disease.

Sickle Cell is a disease that is not as popular as malaria, tuberculosis and AIDS, but tons of babies born each year around the World inherit the disorder according to reports.

The disease is got by inheriting two copies of a defective gene from each patient. In the process, the red blood cell gets collapsed, forming a crescent moon-like shape, which make it difficult for oxygen to be transported to all parts of the body.

The conference drew participants, stakeholders, partners and sponsors from different part of the world.

The programme, themed ‘Reducing the burden of Sickle cell disease in our communities,’ was anchored on raising awareness for Sickle cell disease, increasing the understanding of the disease among the communities health workers, to review the activities of the society since the last one held was two years ago, with a view to hearing from SCSSN members who were sponsored on scholarship to pursue their post-graduate degrees in Brazil, to outline research and training priorities, update current level of knowledge about the different aspects of the pathophysiology and management of Sickle cell and to hold a meeting of the West African Sickle Cell Network, high Nigeria is a host country.

The 3-day conference was kicked off with a pre- conference workshop with community health workers in the State.

Share
Related Stories
Image
17-January-2024

AXA Mansard Health Donates to General Hospital Ikorodu

By Modupe Gbadeyanka A medical item has been donated to the General Hospital Ikorodu, Lagos State by AXA Mansard Health Limited, a member of the AXA Group. The healthcare facility was given a digital ultra-scan machine by the insurer as part of its effort to ensure quality healthcare is accessible and affordable across the country. The reputable health insurance company, while presenting the equipment by its chief executive, Mr Tope Adeniyi, said it is the first in the series of medical equipment donations planned for government hospitals across the country. Mr Adeniyi said the decision to embark on these donations

Image
25-January-2024

Iwosan Lagoon Elevates Medical Excellence With Cutting-Edge Facility

By Adedapo Adesanya Iwosan Lagoon Hospitals, one of the largest private tertiary healthcare providers with a state-of-the-art medical facility in Victoria Island, Lagos, has been officially unveiled by the Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, on Wednesday, January 24. The hospital, with a focus on clinical expertise and customer experience, aims to transform the medical landscape, reverse medical tourism, and deliver quality healthcare services to Nigerians.  Positioned as the Center of Excellence for Cardiology, the 27-bed multispecialty facility boasts a team of world-class healthcare experts and advanced technology-driven medical equipment, including a Catheterization Laboratory for early diagnostics and

Image
19-February-2024

My 1Health Connects Patients With Global Healthcare Expertise

Between 2011 and 2019, life expectancy across sub-Saharan Africa rose from 57.56 to 61.24 years. While there was a slight dip at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, that rise is pretty remarkable. Even more remarkable is the fact that life expectancy in the region was just 50 at the turn of the millennium. While there are numerous factors behind that rise, economic growth and improved disease prevention and treatment are among the most notable. The former has ensured that a growing proportion of Africans have access to the basic infrastructure, like clean drinking water, that is so important to

Image
13-February-2024

Surge in Measles-Related Admissions in Maiduguri Worries MSF

By Modupe Gbadeyanka Measles-related admissions spiked to record numbers between October and December 2023 in the facilities of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in Maiduguri, Borno State. MSF Medical Activity Manager at Gwange Paediatric Hospital, Dr Jombo Tochukwu-Okoli, attributed this to an inability of public health actors “to achieve the 95 per cent vaccination rate, required to suppress measles.” “This is notably due to the difficulties for the health workers in accessing rural communities surrounding Maiduguri” as the insecurity has made vaccination campaigns a difficult endeavour, the healthcare professional added. MSF expressed concerns that this worrying situation calls for a rapid

More Stories
Image
25-September-2023

FG Targets $55.2bn Investments from Oil and Gas Sector

By Adedapo Adesanya The Nigerian government is targeting an estimated $55.2 billion in oil and gas investments by 2030, according to the Special Adviser to the President Bola Tinubu on Energy, Mrs Olu Verheijen. She said the government has wrapped up a series of strategic engagements with 15 leading international and independent oil and gas companies operating in Nigeria. The President’s aide recently organised sessions in Lagos and Abuja in partnership with the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) to review ways to improve the sector and address the nation’s revenue emergency whilst contributing to stabilising Nigeria’s economy. Involved in

Image
05-December-2022

Liquid Government Bonds Market Can Spur Economic Growth—SEC

By Aduragbemi Omiyale The need for the development of a liquid government bonds market has been emphasised by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The Director-General of SEC, Mr Lamido Yuguda, while speaking at the 2022 conference of the Capital Market Correspondents Association of Nigeria (CAMCAN), stated that this would have a positive effect on the economy. Mr Yuguda, represented by the Executive Commissioner of Operations of the agency, Mr Dayo Obisan, disclosed that a liquid government bonds market implies that there is a sufficient offering of government bonds across a range of maturities, which is key to the construction

Image
31-August-2017

Key Highlights From Access Bank H1 2017 Conference Call & Earnings Presentation

By Modupe Gbadeyanka Yesterday, Access Bank held its H1 2017 Conference Call & Earnings Presentation and Business Post brings to its readers some key highlights from the call. The lender, which boats of 4.6 million cards, 1734 ATMs, 385 branches and 9628 POS terminals, said in the presentation that its strong earnings for the period, N246 billion against N174 billion last year, was on the back of interest and non-interest income growth during the period reflecting improved returns. Access Bank said it hopes to conclude the development of and commence implementation of its new 5 year (2018-2022) Rolling Plan It

Image
14-June-2021

NASD Investors Trade 15m Stocks, Lose N18.87bn in Week 23

By Adedapo Adesanya Investors lost N18.87 billion or 3.5 per cent week-on-week at the NASD Over-the-Counter (OTC) Securities Exchange last week. In the week 23 of this trading year, the bourse’s market capitalisation closed at N530.40 billion compared to N549.61 billion it finished at week 22. In the same vein, the NASD Securities Index (NSI) went down by 27.03 points during the five-day trading week to 746.19 points from 773.22 points. Business Post reports that last week’s loss was influenced by five companies and they ensured that four of the five trading sessions were under the control of the bears.

Image
11-January-2020

FG, Investors Budget N265bn for Cheap Data

By Adedapo Adesanya The Federal Government plans to invest N265 billion in broadband infrastructure over the next four years. This was disclosed by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Mr Umar Danbatta, who said this was part of efforts to increase nationwide coverage which has been projected to boost the country’s economy. The NCC chief said the project will be a public-private partnership between the government and the private sector. He outlined that the government will handle 25 percent, while the chunk of 75 percent will be handled by six privately owned infrastructure companies. This

Image
08-December-2021

Fake News: WhatsApp Introduces #YouSaid Campaign

By Dipo Olowookere A campaign aimed to educate users on ways to verify the information they come across before passing it on has been launched by WhatsApp. This initiative, #YouSaid Campaign, according to the popular messaging platform, will help reduce the spread of false news in Nigeria. “At WhatsApp, all personal messages are protected with end-to-end encryption because the safety and security of our users and their messages are important to us,” WhatsApp Public Policy Lead, Akua Gyekye, stated while commenting on the launch of the campaign. “While we remain committed to creating a safe space for our users to

Image
28-March-2022

NASS, Inappropriate Self Interests and Flawed Decisions

By Jerome-Mario Chijioke Utomi The latest media report that the Nigerian Senate passed a bill that would empower an association of real estate companies to not only regulate its members but also regulate its competitors and others in the industry naturally reminds Nigerians with critical minds of an existing research report carried out by Sydney Finkelstein, a Steven Roth Professor of Management at the Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth College, United States of America. The research in question was carried out to unravel why leaders make bad decisions. It among other things noted, that the presence of inappropriate self-interest, distorting

Image
09-January-2019

Minimum Wage: Buhari Picks Bismarck Rewane to Head Advisory Panel

By Modupe Gbadeyanka Renowned financial expert, Mr Bismarck Rewane, has been chosen by President Muhammadu Buhari to head the technical advisory committee on the implementation of the national minimum wage. The panel was inaugurated on Wednesday, January 09, 2019 at the Presidential Villa in Abuja and tasked to develop and advise government on how to successfully bring about a smooth implementation of impending wage increases. The committee was also asked to identify new revenue sources, as well as areas of existing expenditure from where some savings could be made in order to fund the wage increases without adversely impacting the

Ad
Ad
Recent Stories
Image
04-March-2024

UK Announces £37.3m to Boost Livelihoods in Nigeria, Others

By Adedapo Adesanya The United Kingdom has announced new funding for the Mobile for Development Programme to help more people access mobile and digital technologies to find new opportunities and boost their livelihoods in Nigeria and other developing countries. UK’s Minister for Development and Africa, Mr Andrew Mitchell MP, during a speech at Mobile World Congress last week, announced that the UK is providing £37.3 million of new support for the Mobile for Development Programme. The new UK funding for innovative mobile phone technology will help change lives in developing countries around the world by harnessing AI technology to provide

Image
04-March-2024

Newly-Listed Transcorp Power Targets N500bn Revenue by 2031

By Adedapo Adesanya The latest company to join the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited, Transcorp Power Plc, has announced a revenue target of N500 billion by 2031, tapping opportunities in the capital market and sustainable energy. This was disclosed by the Managing Director of the firm, Mr Peter Ikenga, during the Facts Behind the Listing held at bourse on Monday. The firm, owned by businessman and Chairman of UBA Plc, Mr Tony Elumelu, listed its stocks on the Main Board of the nation’s flagship exchange by introduction. It listed 7,500,000,000 ordinary shares of 50 Kobo each at N240.00 per share. Speaking

Image
04-March-2024

DisCos Must Promptly Respond to Customers’ Complaints—FCCPC

By Aduragbemi Omiyale Electricity distribution companies (DisCos) in the country have been charged to respond to customers’ complaints quickly for better service delivery. This task was given to the energy firms by the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), which said the companies must design a quick response mechanism to address issues from their customers. Speaking last Saturday at a four-day one-stop-shop for addressing billing, metering, transformer, connection, disconnection, customer service and other electricity consumer issues in Ikeja Electric coverage areas, the acting executive chairman of FCCPC, Mr Adamu Abdullahi, said the highest number of complaints received by the

Image
04-March-2024

Omokungbe Wants Implementation of Initiatives on Women’s Entrepreneurship

By Aduragbemi Omiyale A former Rector of Yaba College of Technology (YabaTech), Lagos, Mr Obafemi Omokungbe, has called for the implementation of programmes and initiatives designed to promote women’s entrepreneurship in Africa. Speaking at the just-concluded 10th anniversary of the African Women Foundation for Nation Building (WINBAFRICA) in Lagos, Mr Omokungbe, a fellow of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), also appealed to African countries to renew their commitment to women’s empowerment, saying it is a crucial step towards nation-building. According to him, the journey toward women’s empowerment in Africa involves a comprehensive approach that spans various sectors, including education,

Image
04-March-2024

NGX Group Declares 75 Kobo Final Dividend Amid 57.4% Surge in FY’23 Earnings

By Aduragbemi Omiyale A final dividend of N1.5 billion, amounting to 75 Kobo per share has been declared by the board of the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Group Plc for the 2023 financial year. This brings to N1 the total dividend to be paid by the company after paying 25 Kobo (N495.5 million) as interim dividend at mid-year. In its audited financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2023, the NGX Group said its gross earnings increased by 57.4 per cent to N11.8 billion in FY 2023 from N7.5 billion in FY 2022 because its performances in core revenue and

Image
04-March-2024

Red Line Rail: Labour Party Demands Value for Money

By Aduragbemi Omiyale The Lagos State chapter of the Labour Party has tasked Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to ensure the recently commissioned Red Line Rail does not turn out to be another failure due to poor maintenance culture. In a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Mrs Olubunmi Odesanya, the opposition party appealed to the state government to ensure its sustainability. While greeting residents of the metropolis on the project, which was commissioned last Tuesday by President Bola Tinubu, the Labour Party faulted the timing of its completion, saying the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) ought to have put the initiative in

Image
04-March-2024

Access Bank to Give 700,000 MSMEs Access to N50bn Via YouThrive

By Modupe Gbadeyanka An initiative known as YouThrive designed to give entrepreneurs in the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) access to a N50 billion credit facility has been introduced by Access Bank Plc. The lender disclosed at a media briefing in Lagos that about 700,000 MSMEs would benefit from this programme, which is open to business owners between the ages of 21 and 40 years. YouThrive is a transformative initiative designed by Access Bank to empower, uplift, and accelerate the next generation of MSMEs. According to the Deputy Managing Director of Access Bank, Mr Victor Etuokwu, who addressed journalists

Image
04-March-2024

Peter Obi Laments Nigeria’s Dependence on War-Torn Ukraine for Food

By Adedapo Adesanya The presidential candidate of the Labour Party in the 2023 polls, Mr Peter Obi, has lamented Nigeria’s dependence on Ukraine, a country ravaged by war, for food aid. Mr Obi, in a statement on Monday, expressed dissatisfaction at the current economic realities and recounted times when the Nigerian economy was faring better than that of Ukraine in 2015. “Ukraine cultivates over 60 per cent of its arable land, whereas Nigeria has over 60 per cent uncultivated arable land. “Despite the conflict, Ukraine feeds itself, and exports agricultural products worth over $25 billion which is about the same

Image
04-March-2024

AfDb Injects $134m Into Rice, Maize, Cassava, Soybean Production in Nigeria

By Adedapo Adesanya The African Development Bank (AfDB) is supporting Nigeria in the cultivation of rice, maize, cassava and soybean to boost food production with the provision of $134 million to achieve this. The president of the multilateral lender, Mr Akinwunmi Adesina, said on Saturday after visiting the Centre for Dryland Agriculture (CDA) at Bayero University, Kano, that the bank would support Nigeria to cultivate 300,000 hectares each of rice and maize, 150,000 hectares of cassava and 50,000 hectares of soybeans during the 2024 planting season. The CDA is a World Bank-supported centre established to serve as a regional training

Image
04-March-2024

Salesforce Unveils Conversational AI Assistant Einstein Copilot

By Modupe Gbadeyanka A new customisable, conversational, and generative AI assistant for CRM, Einstein Copilot, has been launched by Salesforce. The system was unveiled at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, and it will use adequate company data to generate useful responses. The Einstein Copilot enables Salesforce customers to generate responses using their private and trusted data, while maintaining strict data governance and without requiring expensive AI model training. As a result, Einstein Copilot can answer questions, summarise content, create new content, interpret complex conversations, and dynamically automate tasks on behalf of a user, all from a single, consistent