BENIN CITY – Edo State Commissioner for Health, Dr (Mrs) Aihanuwa Eregie said the state, Sickle Cell Centre was not established to be another hospital, rather it was set up by the State government as an advocacy, counseling and education centre for sickle cell patients.
The Commissioner made this clarification yesterday in Benin City while reacting to the claims by the sickle cell sufferers who staged a demonstration to her office demanding that the centre be run as a full hospital, to render 24 hour services.
Dr Ergie said that the law establishing the centre did not provide for 24 hours services, hence it cannot admit patients, instead, she said the Doctor attached to the centre would counsel, treat and refer patients to other hospitals when necessary for a higher level treatment.
She further stated that although, the aim of establishing the centre has been abused in the past, the Ministry of Health is taking the necessary steps to streamline the activities of the centre, with a view to ensuring that it operates within the ambit of the law establishing it.
According to her, the well equipped centre is functioning and committed to rendering quality services within its jurisdiction.
Dr Eregie advised the sickle cell sufferers not to be deceived by any one that the sickle cell building belongs to the sickle cell club, individual or organisation, saying that the building belongs to the state government, while the cell centre is under the State Ministry of Health.
At the Sickle Cell Centre, she posited that drugs and treatment are well subsidized by the state government and expressed the need for everyone to know their genotype before going into marriage, as it is the only way to prevent sickle cell anemia.