Sickle cell patients have been given assurances of a proper care and treatment if they test positive of the COVID-19.
The assurances were given by the Minister of Public Health Dr Malachie Manaouda on Friday, June 19 as Cameroon joined the rest of the world to commemorate the World Sickle Cell Day.
Under the theme, “Sickle Cell Community, Embracing Change together,” the day was commemorated in Cameroon as well as other parts of the world in a particular context marked by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Given that the pandemic equally pose a big threat to sickle cell patients, they were advised to respect all the preventive measures put in place to fight the pandemic while equally given assurances of a proper care in case they test positive.
On this day when we think of people with sickle cell, we want to reassure them as much as those who suffer from chronic diseases, that arrangements are made for the development of dedicated corridors for their screening and treatment in the event of a positive test for COVID,” the Minister of Public Health, Dr Malachie Manaouda said.
According to statistics from the Ministry of Public Health and the World Health Organisation, there are approximately 6,000 births of sickle cell babies each year in Cameroon. According to the WHO, 2% of babies in Central Africa and Madagascar are born with the most severe form of the disease and among them, 50 to 75% die before the age of 5, in the absence of a proper care.
Several organisations, notably Iecd, Afd and the Pierre Fabre Foundation decided in 2014 to join forces for a four-year project whose aim is to reduce the mortality and morbidity linked to sickle cell anemia and improve the living conditions of the sick. Since 2015 the program has been active in Cameroon and helps to strengthen screening for children.