Nigeria has the highest burden of sickle cell disease in the world. We should, therefore, be the leader in fostering understanding, awareness, research and advocacy for the disease. The SCSSN aims to achieve all these.
This conference is historic in that it is the first time the society is holding its conference in one of the geo-political zones, outside of Abuja – Professor Adekunle Adekile
Objectives of the Event
- To raise awareness of SCD in the Enugu area in particular and the South-Eastern zone in general
- To increase the understanding of the disease among community health workers, hence the pre-conference workshop on Wednesday, 23rd August
- To review the activities of the society since our last conference 2 years ago especially to hear from our members who were sponsored on scholarships to pursue MSS and PhD degrees in Brazil
- To outline research and training priorities in the country
- To update current knowledge about difference aspects of the pathophysiology and management of SCD
- To hold the meeting of the West African SCD Network of which Nigeria is the host country
SCSSN is a network of Nigerian physicians, researchers, nurses, NGOs, patients with interest in SCD, resident in the country and the Diaspora. The network was formed in 2010, but registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission in 2013. The main objectives are to raise awareness, advocacy, research and capacity building pertaining to SCD.
Currently we have about 400 members, with more than 20 collaborating institutions in the country. We liaise with the Federal and State Ministries of Health, other NGOs and stakeholders in the country and several regional and international bodies including the National Institutes of Health of America. We have complied guidelines for the management and counseling of SCD and a handbook for parents. There are being distributed all over the country. Research work from our collaborative efforts have been published in peer-reviewed international journals.
We have obtained scholarships for deserving members for training abroad up to MSc and PhD levels and organized many local courses and training workshops. We look forward to making more impact on SCD in Nigeria especially in the area of control of the disease, early screening and community care. Our hope is also to step up training locally with the establishment of higher degree programs in disciplines relevant to SCD. We look forward to sponsorship from corporate bodies, pharmaceutical companies and philanthropists in the country.