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Senate passes bill on control of sickle cell

THE Senate has passed a bill seeking to control and manage sickle cell anaemia in Nigeria.

The passage of the bill yesterday followed the adoption of a report presented by the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health (Secondary and Tertiary), Yahaya Oloriegbe, at the plenary in Abuja.

In his presentation, Oloriegbe said sickle cell anaemia was a disorder of Haemoglobin (SS) inherited from one or both parents of a child.

According to him, the disease affects nearly 100 million people across the world.

The lawmaker said Nigeria ranks first in the list of sickle cell endemic countries and was declared by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as world’s capital of the disease in 2006.

He said the bill would provide the necessary legal framework for the prevention, control and management of the disease as well as avert early deaths and unnecessary medical expenses by families.

Oloriegbe said: “The bill will strengthen existing structure, encourage and strengthen support groups and other groups to be able to assess the effectiveness or otherwise of the control strategies in place to eliminate sickle cell disease.”

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