A Liberian Medical Doctor specialized in treating sickle cell disease, Dr. Venee Tubman, says as an effort to save more new born babies with the disease, she will expand her program to other counties.
She gave the assurance on Saturday at a program marking the official launch of Sickle Cell awareness at Naklee Brisbane Sickle Cell Education Center on 24th Street, Sinkor-Monrovia.
Dr. Tubman disclosed that there are many babies who die every year due to sickle cell which she said is “very dangerous” to the health of the people.
“It is my hope to extend this to all of the counties to save many lives that are effected with the disease. And with the support from the Government f Liberia, I will help save more lives,” Dr. Tubman assured.
She encouraged Liberians to join the process by taking their children to the John F. Kennedy Medical Hospital at the pediatric center for checkup and treatment.
According to her, the program is to educate families about the danger of the sickness and to encourage them to seek medical care for the condition.
The program was organized by Dr. Tubman with support from the Ministry of Health (MOH) to create the necessary awareness about sickle cell disease.
She described the process as “very important” to save the lives of babies and to reduce the high mortality rate usually caused by the disease.
“At JFK, I have introduced newborn screening for sickle cell disease. When a baby has this sickness, he/she will be short of blood, look malnourished and the condition causes serious problem.
At some point, that child will not survive,” she told our reporter.
“This is why I am in Liberia (my home country) to contribute by saving many lives that are in danger of the disease,” she added.
This, she said is done according to the World Health Organization (WHO), which believes sickle cell disease can be managed by simple procedures, including high fluid intake, a healthy diet, folic acid supplementation, pain medication, penicillin prophylaxis and pneumococcal vaccination against infections.
Dr. Tubman is a Harvard Medical School instructor in pediatrics and attending physician in pediatric hematology/oncology at Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center.