Persons in the Far North Region of Cameroon have decried deplorable conditions in which they live as sickle cell patients.
According to statistics, Cameroon records around 4,000 deaths per year from sickle cell disease. Among these victims, half die before the age of five.
Sickle cell disease is an incurable genetic disease. In the far north region, many children die from the disease every week.
This is mostly as a result of high cost of drugs, blood bags and the non-support by the state.
MMI met with a father of 3 children who are sickle cell patients and have dropped out of school because of the disease.
Desperate families have almost given up hope while the children continue to suffer and end up dying.
The fathers of these children deplore the high cost of medicines and blood bags which are becoming more and more inaccessible.
“I am the father of 3 children and my first son is 12 years old. I am really overwhelmed. I don’t know what to do? Medicines are expensive. Blood bags are almost impossible to find and sometimes you have to spend substantial resources to have it” said a father.
On the occasion of the International Day of Sickle Cell Disease, patients from the Far North marched while demanding improvement in living conditions and care.
“We are not asking the state to do everything. We are simply demanding the reduction of drug costs” proposed a patient.
An association of sickle cell patients has however been set up to enable them seek help collectively.
By Amina Hilda
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