The Lagos State government has unveiled the Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT) Centre to addressing the burden constituted by sickle cell disease in the state and the country.
The State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi congratulated the Sickle Cell Foundation of Nigeria for the comprehensive BMT Centre in sub-Saharan Africa, which he described as first-of-its kind.
According to Prof. Abayomi, who represented the State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu at the opening, the centre is a bold step towards battling the disease.
The commissioner, however, bemoaned the high rate of children living with sickle cell in the country.
“The statistics of sickle cell cases in Nigeria is alarming,” he lamented. “One in every four Nigerians is believed to have sickle cell gene.
“About 150,000 children are born yearly in Nigeria with sickle cell disease with about 100,000 of them unlikely to live beyond 5th birthday.”
Hence, Prof. Abayomi said it is indeed significant that the facility incorporates the entire bone marrow transplantation process.