World Sickle Cell Day
World Sickle Cell Awareness Day is celebrated on June 19th of each year.
Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a group of inherited red blood cell disorders.
As the world grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic, we need to continue our efforts to support vulnerable populations, who may be more at risk, such as people with sickle cell disease (SCD).Sickle cell disease is a hereditary and life-threatening condition that causes ongoing vascular damage and repeated injury to the blood vessels and organs, including the heart and lungs. This lifelong illness often takes an extreme emotional, physical, and financial toll on patients and their families. Healthy red blood cells are round, and they move through small blood vessels to carry oxygen to all parts of the body. In someone who has SCD, the red blood cells become hard and sticky and look like a C-shaped farm tool called a “sickle”. The sickle cells die early, which causes a constant shortage of red blood cells. Also, when they travel through small blood vessels, they get stuck and clog the blood flow. This can cause pain and other serious problems such infection, acute chest syndrome and stroke.
Symptoms of SCD:
Episodes of painful crisis
Swelling of hands and feet.
Delayed growth or puberty.
Facts: 1. SCD affects millions around the world.
2. SCD is particularly common in individuals in Africa, South America, the Caribbean, Central America, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, India, and Mediterranean countries such as Turkey, Greece and Italy.
3. SCD is a major public health concern. From 1989 through 1993, an average of 75,000 hospitalizations due to SCD occurred in the United States, costing approximately $475 million.
4. Many patients with SCD only live into their 40s and endure unpredictable pain crises which disrupt their lives physically, socially and emotionally
5. Early diagnosis and regular medical care can prevent complications and contribute to improved life expectancy and quality of life, however, a recent survey revealed that many patients don’t seek care despite symptoms and complications
You can help reduce the population of SCD babies in the nearest future by knowing your genotype before getting married.
Compiled from Google