Dr. Umar, told newsmen in Birnin Kebbi over the weekend that lack of premarital counseling among intending couples to determine their geno-type was the major source of the disease.
He said a projected number of 40,000 people in Kebbi were expected to be affected by the Sickle-cell disease.
He said that the recent projection indicated that between one and two per cent of the total population of 4.3million in the state were affected by the disease.
“Blood transfusion was not medically attributed as a source of the disease, “he said.
The state coordinator of the sickle-cell patients association, Hajiya Hadiza Yahaya, disclosed that the association has procured testing kits and equipment worth N3million for treating the disease.
She said that sickle cell screening centers would be established in the four emirates of the state that included, Gwandu,Argungu,Yauri and Zuru.
“We would intensify efforts on enlightenment campaign about the disease especially on symptoms and dangers on radio and television.”
She advised people to avail themselves for free screening against the disease currently on going in some of the hospitals in the state.
Dr. Aminu Bunza, the director medical services who represented the commissioner of health, Alhaji Hussaini Raha,commended the efforts of the association for procuring the testing kits.
He assured that the state government would support the association financially to enable it establish screening centers,” and we would continue to support any positive initiative aimed at promoting the health of our people”.
The minister of state for health, Dr. Haliru Alhassan, represented by the medical director of the Federal Medical Center (FMC) in Birnin Kebbi, Dr. Abdullahi Ibrahim, said that the federal government had established six sickle cell treatment centers in the six geopolitical zone.
He said government would support the association towards eradicating the disease in the same manner we eradicated polio and HIV/AIDS.