Sickle cell disorder not death sentence ― Okowa, President BSLM

Wife of Delta State governor and founder of O5 Initiative, Mrs Edith Okowa; and the President, British Society of Lifestyle Medicine, Dr Rob Lawson, have declared that sickle cell disorder is not a death sentence and advised patients living with Sickle Cell disease to adopt a healthy lifestyle.

By adopting a healthy lifestyle in the management of the disorder, they stated that those living with the disease would stay well.

Mrs Okowa and Dr Lawson gave the advice while speaking at the opening of a two-day 2nd International Lifestyle Medicine Conference in Abuja, organised by the Society of Lifestyle Medicine of Nigeria (SOLONg).

According to Okowa, “sickle cell disorder is not a death sentence, it can be prevented and managed through healthy living by taking a balanced diet.

“The patients should choose a diet that focuses on vegetables, fruits and grains. They provided the patients with folic acid and other necessary vitamins needed for them to stay healthy.

“They must take plenty of water because dehydration is a risk factor for them to have a crisis. They have to drink at least two litres of water daily. Not only sickle cell patients, but people should also practice water therapy in the morning, taking a bottle of water first thing in the morning.

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“Exercise also improves the overall wellbeing of the patients but strenuous exercise is not encouraged and adequate sleep is very necessary. You should know that you don’t have business taking alcohol and tobacco if you want to stay healthy.’’

The wife of the governor said her NGO, Founder of O5 Initiative, which focuses on creating awareness and advocacy for Sickle Cell disorder had recorded immense success through promoting a healthy lifestyle.

She advised parents, relations and friends of the patients to show them love and support them to manage stress.

Dr Lawson, who delivered a keynote address said the professionals acknowledged the upstream determinants of non-communicable diseases, adding that the key contributory factors responsible for chronic diseases were market regulation, social inequality, environmental pollution and low nutrient food.

He pointed out that the UN General Assembly has set an ambitious target to reduce global premature mortality from non-communicable diseases by 33 per cent by the year 2030.

He said the chief means of doing this are prevention and treatment, and that the solution was in adopting realistic and healthy approaches.

In her address, the President of SOLONg, Dr Ifeoma Monye, said her organization had been looking for ways to drive the message of adopting healthy life lifestyle since its creation.

According to her, Lifestyle Medicine is a branch of evidence-based medicine in which comprehensive lifestyle changes are used to prevent, treat and reverse the progression of chronic diseases by addressing the underlying cause


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