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Sickle cell patients send SOS to El-Rufai

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Residents of Kaduna State living with sickle cell anaemia have sent a save-our-soul message to the State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai.

 

The patients disclosed that the non-availability of sickle cell drugs in hospitals across the state was seriously affecting their health, while urging the governor to assist in providing these drugs in public hospitals.

 

This was the highlight of discussion by at the Bako Youth Development Foundation, a sickle cell support group.

 

The Executive Director of the Foundation, Andy Bako who was on a courtesy visit along with other people living with sickle cell anaemia also revealed that one of the ways the state government could assist was to empower them to be self-reliant so they could purchase needed drugs as well as pay their medical bills.

 

Highlighting their challenge before the commissioner Bako said, “Paludrine which is one drug we take everyday is not available in government hospitals and the cost in the open market is out of reach of most of us while the cost of laboratory investigations including blood transfusion is a big issue.

 

“Another challenge we face daily is the discriminatory attitudes of health workers towards us. If we have clinics, we get to the hospital as early as 7 am and will remain on queue as long as it takes while some health workers will just come and bypass us to go and see the doctor and sometimes, if we are in crisis the health workers will just ignore us, shout at us or make some derogatory comments at us.

 

“Most of us are jobless because of the circumstances we find ourselves. Despite the fact that we have to take our drugs and go to the hospitals when in crisis and quite often we find it difficult to meet up with the bills due to poverty,” he said.

 

He then pleaded that drugs that “we need like Paludrine, Folic Acid, B Complex and multivitamins be made available in all hospitals

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