Indigenous Language Media, Communication, and Sickle Cell Disorder: Peculiarities of Indigenous Language Media in Tackling Misconceptions of Sickle Cell Disorder

Indigenous Language Media, Communication, and Sickle Cell Disorder: Peculiarities of Indigenous Language Media in Tackling Misconceptions of Sickle Cell Disorder

Opeyemi Olaoluwa Oredola (Covenant University, Nigeria), Kehinde Opeyemi Oyesomi (Covenant University, Nigeria) and Ada Sonia Peter (Covenant University, Nigeria)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2091-8.ch006

Abstract

The importance of health communication and information cannot be over emphasized especially with issues related to sickle cell disorder. Sickle cell disorder, common among Africans, has a lot of myths and misconceptions tied to it, so this chapter unearths and explores how indigenous communication can facilitate learning and understanding of the disorder majorly in rural areas and some urban areas where knowledge of the disorder is assessed low using the focus group discussion. It also reveals the importance of incorporating indigenous language and communication techniques in increasing awareness and eradicating stereotypes as regards sickle cell disorder. The findings of this chapter reflect that misinformation occurs due to lack of proper understanding of language used in sickle cell health communication-related issues. Hence, this chapter proposes that health education about the concept of SCD should be executed majorly in indigenous languages and through the indigenous media platforms.
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Background To The Study

Sickle cell disease (SCD), also known as sickle cell anemia or sickle cell disorder is one of the most widespread inherited lethal diseases in the world; and was first described in 1910 (Herrick, 1910). It is a common genetic disorder caused by mutations in both copies of the β-globin gene, a major subunit of hemoglobin (Hb) which damages and deforms red blood cells. The clinical picture of the disease usually emerges after four months of age with highly phenotypically variable disease (Bunn, 1997). SCD affects millions of people worldwide. About 300, 000 children globally are born yearly with the disease (Okpala, Thomas, Westerdale, Jegede, Raj, Daley, & Abbs, 2002), whose origin is traceable to the people of Sub Saharan-Africa, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and Indian descent (Luzzatto, 1981). Amongst these groups, people of Sub-Saharan African are known to have the highest occurrence (Gubis, Ferster, Kentos, N’Gay Munungi, Cotton, & Vertonge, 2005; Creary, 2007). A plethora of major clinical symptoms are associated with SCD. Some of these include chronic pains, acute anemia, infection, and joint swelling and other idiosyncratic complications (Serjeant & Serjeant, 2001). These symptoms often require sufferers go to a variety of Specialists for management. It has been estimated that up to 90% of patients are admitted to hospitals at one time or the other for episodes of pain (Brozovic, Davies, & Brownell, 1987). Individuals with SCD are also at risk of academic failure, as well as psychosocial maladjustment (Brown, Armstrong, & Eckman, 1993).

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