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Going for Gold! -Tackling Sickle Cell Disease

This information was received from John Dada today:

"Fantsuam Foundation is a member of a consortium that has been working on a UNDP-sponsored project aimed at improving survival and quality of life for children with Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) by instituting early infant diagnosis and establishing standardised care that is sustainable through capacity building of service provision in a comprehensive manner from laboratory diagnosis, prevention, treatment and rehabilitation.

Other members of the consortium on this project are:

  • The London Focus Sickle Cell Africa (LFSCA)
  • Michigan State University
  • Fantsuam Foundation
  • Zankli Medical Centre

The consortium visited the Governor of Kaduna State, His Excellency, Mr Yakowa on 17th November, and he assured the group of his full support for the project. He also instructed the Ministry of Health to expedite all supports that is required from the State Government.

The experience and information collected so far underscores the need for a sustained rural health surveillance effort. The Fantsuam laboratory facility will be designated as a Rural Surveillance Centre for Blood Stream Infection in Children. The Centre will coordinate a demographic health surveillance system for selected communities, in the first instance, before additional communities will be enrolled into the service.

The Fantsuam Laboratory will provide accurate automated microbiological and hematological diagnosis of children who are enrolled in the program. This rural surveillance for blood stream infection in children will provide the vital information a physician needs in order to make an informed judgment about the appropriate treatment regime for her/ his patients. All children in partner health facilities, who are on medical admission, will be screened and the results communicated to their physicians. The laboratory will provide 24hour service to participating health facilities, arrange for regular consultation between them and pediatric consultants and highly skilled laboratory technicians of Michigan State University.

Fantsuam Foundation is in ongoing discussions with Professor Stephen Obaro on the support that may be available through Michigan State University for resources such as equipments (e.g. -700C freezer, automated incubator, research microscopes, solar refrigerator, solar incubator, dedicated bandwidth for wireless internet access, 4-WD vehicle) and staff – Project Manager, Medical Officer, Laboratory Scientist, Laboratory Assistant, Nurse, Community Health Worker, Driver, Security).

When fully set up, this facility will be the first of its kind in Nigeria, and apart from serving its host rural communities, the laboratory will be a unique resource for graduate students from local and international universities and research institutions of rural health surveillance systems. The Fantsuam Laboratory is aiming at the Gold Standard in Rural Healthcare