9 ways to handle stigmatization with people living with sickle cell

She stated this on Saturday, March 11 at the Soulage Sickle cell which was tagged “Reducing stigmatization through enlightenment and care.”

Dr Akinsete who serves as the CEO sickle cell foundation
on Nigeria said the effects of stigmatization on the individual can lead to mistrust, depression, bitterness and suicidal tendencies.

According to her sickle cell disease is a chronic blood disease that is passed down genetically from parents to offspring. It cannot be caught like a common cold.

People can only get it if they inherit two unusual genes one from the father and one from the mother.

Dr Akinsete also said the rejection of people with certain health conditions is based on a negative stereotype

It also another issue when they are unable to participate in activities involving physical effort. E.g Absenteeism from school and work activities.

Report from  Naij officulial at the event Michael Ajani a father of 4 children said he discovered his last child a girl was born with sickle cell after a month.

Ajani said he is very lucky that so far his family has been able to manage his daughter’s health due to the fact she doesn’t give them so much stress.

However she mostly complains about stomach pains. He added that he and his daughter fortunately don’t experience stigmatization personally unlike others.

Another patient who preferred to remain anonymous said for someone living with sickle cell disease one can discourage stigmatization by learning about the disease and educating others and managing the pain before it becomes an emergency.

Dr Akinsete also gave the following tips on how people can reduce the impact of stigmatization in the society:

1. Counseling

2. Therapy

3. Support groups

4. Empowerment

5. Advocacy

6. Involvement of family members in care

7. Education of family members

8. Education of the community, schools, workplace

9. Self-help


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