Following the passage of the bill for the control and eradication of sickle cell anaemia into law in Anambra State, the state government may in no distant time commence the establishment of sickle clinics in all the 21 local government areas as well as general hospitals across the state.
Hon. Charles Chukwuma Ezeani, proponent of the bill and lawmaker representing Anaocha 2 state constituency in the Anambra State House of Assembly disclosed that there was need to make such provisions in the law to create avenues for people living with sickle cell diseases to access prompt medical attention as well as advice on the management of their ailments.
The lawmaker who spoke with journalists in Awka at the weekend, stated that the establishment of the clinics was to assist people with sickle cell anaemia to go for laboratory tests and medical check ups to reduce the burden of pains on them.
He also explained that they do not have clinics to access constant medical attention pointing out that the establishment of the clinics would help to alleviate the pains and sufferings of people living with sickle cell disorder as well as provide quick access to enable them secure immediate medical attention.
Ezeani noted that the sickle cell control and eradication law was a guarantee for children yet unborn to live a good life as the law prohibited marital union without evidence of sickle cell status certificate.
The lawmaker therefore recalled how children with sickle cell anaemia died before him when he was a younger person which he said prompted him to find a way to curb the scourge to save humanity from untimely deaths as a result of sickle cell diseases.
He however expressed belief that should the committees stipulated in the law be set up especially the committee involving the clergy, they would help to ensure that before marriages were consummated, evidence of sickle cell prevention certificate together with its inherent requirements were presented stressing that where such requirements were not satisfactory, the marriage should be dissolved at the point of consummation.
The lawmaker said, “even at the point of paying dowry, the committee at the local level should be able to ascertain that those who want to come and pay dowry have sickle cell prevention certificates to certify that they are qualified to get married.”
Ezeani also emphasised that the sickle cell control and eradication law would help put a stop to the activities of some orthodox medicine practitioners who allegedly subjected sickle cell patients to what he described as money-making machines on grounds of treating ailments that they have little or no knowledge about while extorting huge sums of money from them without tangible results.
The Anambra State Sickle Cell Control and Eradication Law 2019, however, provided for the establishment of sickle cell clinics in all the general hospitals across the 21 local government areas of the state to be headed by a haematologist whose responsibility it is to handle blood-related diseases such as sickle cell anaemia.