By Lorraine Anyango
Jaramogi Onginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital (JOOTRH) is spearheading a multi-sectorial approach to forging a way forward for combating sickle cell in the region.
Part of the mandate of this new move is to establish a sickle cell support group for people living with sickle cell and their families at JOOTRH.
“We envision working together to structure psychosocial support to patients living with sickle cell disease together with their families.”Dr. George Rae says.
This new move brings together pediatricians, sickle cell warriors, Kisumu blood transfusion center, Red Cross, Tumaini Sickle cell Organization, Children Sickle cell Organization, and staff from JOOTRH among orthers.
In their first meeting, the stakeholders discussed challenges they encounter in dealing with sickle cell cases and explored solutions among them the need to set up a clinic for sickle cell patients.
There is also a challenge in reaching out to parents of children living with sickle cell who say expensive to bring their children to the hospital often.
“I’m working on a drama on genotypes, featuring the need for testing before marriage to aid informed decisions, the drama will also showcase the importance of making public one status.” Mitchelle Omullo a sickle cell warrior said.
“We have a challenge of meeting the demand for blood for needy cases, however clients should always make requests whenever blood components are required, and we will make them available.” Mrs. Magladylne Murogo, head of Regional Blood Transfusion Center Kisumu said.
“Sickle cell patients should also be advised on the repercussions of engaging in sex between themselves.” Mrs. Murogo added.
Dr. Massawa said that comprehensive diagnosis should occur right from the begging upon early diagnosis so that prevention can be initiated. He said cases of sickle cell are higher in Kisumu hence a center of Excellence for the same should be established.
“Creating awareness through all media available and educating the public may lead to better management of the disease.” He added.
“If we could acquire a genotype machine, we can do cross and genetic matching so that the right type of blood could be given to sickle cell patients.” Dr. Massawa said.
Martin Opondo from Tumaini sickle cell organization emphasized the importance of working with communities and linking clients to facilities so that they get the right medication and any other services related to the ailment.
Dr. Rae said they are keen on partnering with centers and partners who can come to their aid adding that the digitization will be used to minimize ambulances which sometimes are late in cases of emergencies.