The senator representing Enugu East, Chimaroke Nnamani, on Wednesday canvassed increased public enlightenment, awareness and funding of sickle cell societies in the country.
He also sought free sero-diagnosis and identification of all sickle cell patients and carriers of sickle cell gene in all government health facilities.
The former Enugu State Governor who is also a medical doctor stated this in a statement to mark world Sickle Cell Day.
Nnanmani said: “Today, as we draw attention towards Sickle Cell Day, a day set aside by the United Nations General Assembly Resolution A/63/L/63 of December 22, 2008, we salute all “sicklers”, including sickle cell patients, their mothers, fathers, siblings and all dependants. When a sickle cell patient suffers, the entire family and dependants also suffer.
“As the saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child; so also it takes a village to take care of a sickle cell patient.
“To all sickle cell patients, I say to them we are all in it together. As we await full commencement of the 9th Assembly of the Nigeria Senate, our agenda is very clear.
“Full and free sero-diagnosis and identification of all sickle cell patients and carriers of sickle cell gene in all government health facilities
“Free counselling for all sickle cell patients and treatment in all government health facilities, including out-patient services, specifically emergency room attention and sickle cell clinics.
“Free in-patient service in all government health facilities.
“Free drugs and other modalities for therapy at all government hospitals.
“Appropriate data collection and documentation at birth, and reflection of data and relevant forms including death certificates.
“Free family and marriage counselling at all government health facilities and tertiary institutions.
“Increased public enlightenment and awareness/funding and support of sickle cell societies and the like organisations.
“Finally, to all sickles patients, we share your pains, we salute your courage, doggedness and tenacity.”