Government has pledged to ensure that the lives of persons living with sickle cell are alleviated.
Minister of Health Chitalu Chilufya noted that government reaffirms its commitment towards ensuring that every Zambian across the country accesses quality health care services, sickle cell patients included.
He was speaking in a speech read on his behalf by University Teaching Hospital (UTH) Senior Medical Superintendent John Musuku.
Dr. Chilufya said over the years, government has continued to demonstrate commitment to the fight against sickle cell diseases.
He added that the Zambian medical professionals have also invested their efforts to study and learn how to manage sickle cell diseases.
Dr. Chilufya noted that a lot needs to be done in order to improve the lives of sickle cell patients.
Dr. Chilufya however observed that there is need for routine checkups to be conducted on the diagnosis and care mechanisms for the sickle cell disease.
The Health Minister added that government commends partnership with organisations like Zambia Sickle Cell Anemia society (ZSCAS) in providing information and raising awareness on the disease.
Dr. Chilufya said that the medical staff are closely following advances in the treatment of sickle cell, adding that the latest being bone marrow transplants.
And Dr. Chilufya have further revealed that his ministry is doing everything possible to roll out the use of hydroxyurea across the country for the management of sickle cell especially in rural areas.
Meanwhile, Zambia Sickle Cell Association Society President Kate Besa said the levels of awareness on sickle cell are low and called upon stakeholders to come on board in sensitizing the public.
MS. Best said there was need to raise awareness to ensure that stigma is brought to an end.
She added that the country has a lot to consider to ensure the lives of sickle cell patients are enhanced across the country.
Ms. Besa said the introduction of a new medicine known as the bone marrow transplants has brought hope among people living with sickle cell.
And ZAMTEL Chief Executive Officer Sydney Mupeta says his institution has provided ZSCAS with financial and maternal support to host the commemoration.
He said the commemoration will raise awareness about the disease and create space for conversation around treatment and care.
Mr. Mupeta was speaking in a speech read on his behalf by acting Chief Marketing Officer Chibeza Nagona.
Mr. Mupeta noted that ZAMTEL was pleased to partner with ZSCAS in raising awareness on sickle cell disease.
This year’s world sickle cell day was commemorated under the theme “Awareness and Education”