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Seek genetic counseling before marriage, commissioner tells youths

The Ogun State Government has urged the youths to seek genetic counseling before marriage in order to prevent birth of children with sickle cell disorder and other avoidable diseases.

The State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Tomi Coker, gave the advice during the foundation-laying ceremony of a Sickle Cell Disorder Centre at the State Hospital, Ota, on Tuesday, organised by the Rotary Club International, District 9111.

Coker, represented by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Health, Dr. Tayo Lawal, noted that seeking counseling would enable them have the right information on the causes and prevention of the disorder before marriage.

She added that it was essential to reduce the disorder to the barest minimum in the society.

Coker reaffirmed the commitment of Gov. Dapo Abiodun-led administration in partnering with well-meaning individuals and corporate organisations for the provision of adequate, effective and affordable healthcare services to the people of the state.

Relevant areas for genetic counselling

Earlier, Oluwole Kukoyi, the Pioneer District Governor, Rotary International District 9111, said the organisation’s construction of a modern Sickle Cell Centre was borne out of the need to give hope to patients with sickle cell disorder.

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Kukoyi appreciated the state government through the ministry of health for the support and approval to build the centre.

Prenatal genetic counselling

He assured that the project would be completed in six months, adding that counselling sessions, outreach and enlightenment campaigns would be provided, especially for the youths.

In his contribution, the National Director of the Sickle Cell Foundation of Nigeria, Dr Annette Akinsete, stated that the project, when completed would be a solution to the need of the people.

Akinsete was represented by Mr Caleb Audu, the Strategic Communications and Partnership Lead for the foundation.

She promised that the national centre would enrol children under 5 years for its free Drug Administration Programme, Genetic Counselling, Leg Ulcer dressing and Transcranial Doppler Scan Machine Training.

The Permanent Secretary, Hospitals Management Board, Dr Nike Elemide, while commending the effort of the club, said the Sickle Cell Centre would impact positively on the public.

In their remarks, the Medical Director, State Hospital, Ota, Dr Akinshola Ero-Phillips and Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Health, Dr Omolayo Fred-Omojole, commended the club for citing the centre within the hospital premises.

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They maintained that the gesture would ease the burden of many families of sickle cell patients. (NAN)

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