The 2018 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) report says 20 per cent of Nigerian children of between ages 6 and 59 months are living with sickle cell traits. Mrs. Bimbola Salu-Hundeyin, Acting Chairman, National Population Commission (NPC), disclosed this at the launching of the Taraba State report of NDHS in Jalingo on Thursday.
Salu-Hundeyin, who was represented by the Federal Commissioner in the commission, Malam Sani Sale, said that Nigeria, for the first time in the world, piloted the genotype testing of children of between ages 6 and 59 months for the sickle cell disease.
According to her, genotype testing is carried out in a sub-sample of more than 11,000 children, adding that the prevalence rate of sickle cell disease is above two per cent with Oyo, Lagos, Osun and Kano states topping the list of highest cases of sickle cell in the country.
She said that 41, 821 women of between ages 15 and 49 years in 40,427 households and 13,311 men of between ages 15 and 59 years in one third of the households were interviewed. The acting chairman expressed hope that the Taraba Government and other data earned users would find the report useful for the development of the state and the country.
Earlier, the State Director, National Population Commission (NPC), Mrs. Shirley Yurma, said the report provided an up-to-date estimate on the basic demographic and health indicators in the country, urging relevant agencies to use the report judiciously for the good of the country.
Yurma said that the 2018 National Demographic and Health Survey report was the sixth conducted in the country since 1990 and was conducted every five years.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Alhaji Haruna Manu, the state Deputy Governor, unveiled the Taraba NDHS report at the event.