By Donald Iorchir
The University of Abuja Teaching Hospital (UATH), Gwagwalada, has inaugurated a steering committee on Sickle Cell Support Group (SCG) aimed at creating awareness on the control of the blood disorder condition.
Inaugurating the committee at the weekend, the Chief Medical Director (CMD), Dr. Bisalla Ekele, represented by the Chairman Medical Advisory Committee (CMAC) of the hospital, Dr. Nicholas Bamlong, reiterated the commitment of the management to make the hospital an excellent place for the treatment of sickle cell disease in the country.
He said the hospital had designed programmes to cater for the need of children just as he tasked patients suffering from sickle cell disorder to adhere to their medications.
The CMD revealed that the hospital would continue to give priority attention to quality health care delivery as well as provide space for the sickle cell clinic with a view to meeting the challenges of the increasing number of patients.
The head of the sickle cell unit, Dr. Uche Agumadu, urged members of the steering committee to discharge their duties towards giving the patients suffering from the ailment a sense of belonging, irrespective of their status in the society.
Agumadu, who is also a consultant pediatrician, said the idea behind the support group depended largely on interactions among patients and members of their families.
She noted that medication alone would not help the patients; rather they should be supported through sharing of experiences.
The consultant noted that one of the major tasks of the committee would include health education and promotion with identifying areas of burden in individual patient that could be supported collectively.
She said the support group is necessary because when the patients leave the hospital they would rely on sustainable psycho-therapy in order to enhance their hope of survival.
The medical expert encouraged sickle cell patients to adhere to “FARMIS” routine activities they need to engage in to remain healthy at all times, explaining that there was need to eat well, drink enough water, take medication, have sufficient rest and immunisation.