The Emir of Akko, Alhaji Umar Atiku, has said that until the presentation of genotype records during marriage was enforced, there would be an increased number of sickle cell-related cases in Gombe State.
The Lamido of Akko made this disclosure on Wednesday while receiving a delegation from Gombe State Contributory Healthcare Management Agency who was in the emirate on sensitisation of stakeholders on enrolment of an additional 40,000 poor and vulnerable under the Basic Health Care Provision Fund.
According to him, he has started enforcing ‘show us your result before marriage in the emirate’, stressing that some have chosen to evade such scrutiny in order to get married without their permission.
Atiku said the same emphasis placed on HIV testing should be transferred to ascertaining genotype screening to mitigate the growing increasing pains faced by warriors.
He said, “I think the government and other stakeholders should look into this issue and work on enforcing this type of screening before marriage. Because, even as we are enforcing here in the palace, some intending couples do boycott the palace and get wedded elsewhere.”
However, owing to the growing population of sickle cell warriors to about 5,000 in the state, the house of assembly had urged parents to ensure the compatibility of their children.
Briefing Stakeholders during the sensitisation, the Operations Manager of the Gombe health care agency, Dr. Maspara Gideon, said that his organisation was committed to revalidating its previous records where about 25,565 poor and vulnerable were enrolled in the scheme, as well as an additional 40,000 in the BHCF.
“We have come here to sensitise the community; we have put together community representatives, all community, religious leaders, groups, and organisation of the poor and vulnerable, the aim is to ensure that they understand the categories of people that will benefit from this program which include children under five, the aged, widows, Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and the physically challenged persons in the community.
“We sensitised them to actually be on the lookout and mobilise such categories of people so that they can get their National Identity Number (NIN), ready for when we start the enrolment which is coming up very soon in May,” Gideon said.
Also Speaking, the Chairman of Saif Advocacy Foundation, Alhassan Yahya, said that the Basic Health Care Provision Fund was an initiative geared toward improving the health of the masses.
According to him, the rich can access medical support, however with BHCF, the poor can get qualitative care without worries.
He said, “This is an opportunity to reduce out-of-pocket expenses but for the masses, it is free of charge. This category is for the vulnerables, it includes widows and people living with disabilities.
“It is something worthy of commendation as it closes the gap between the poor and vulnerable. Kudos to Gohealth, Gombe State Government and the Federal Government as this would promote better health indices in the state.”
All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from PUNCH.
Contact: [email protected]