Hearing of the sudden demise of Maame Serwaa,my childhood friend got me thinking about Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) all over again. It's a genetic blood disorder characterised by excessive breakdown of red blood cells,leading to inadequate supply of blood to vital body organs
In my line of work,I've had to nurse many patients with SCD and i must admit, it's not easy!!! not for the patient, their families and even us.
It's sad that through no fault of theirs,people go through such a traumatic experience.I feel there hasn't been enough education about this condition and most people still have no idea about it's seriousness and implications.
A few things you should know about SCD;
Sickle cell disease affects millions throughout the world. It
is particularly common among people whose ancestors come from
Sub-Saharan Africa, South America, Cuba, Central America, Saudi Arabia,
India, and Mediterranean countries such as Turkey, Greece, and Italy. In
the Unites States, it affects around 72,000 people, most of whose
ancestors come from Africa. The disease occurs in about 1 in every 500
African-American births and 1 in every 1000 to 1400 Hispanic-American
births. About 2 million Americans, or 1 in 12 African Americans, carry
the sickle cell allele.
- .patients inherit two sickle cell genes,one from each parent
- . If one parent has sickle-cell anaemia (SS) and the other has sickle-cell trait then there is a 50% chance of a child's having SCD and a 50% chance of a child's having sickle-cell trait. When both parents have sickle-cell trait a child has a 25% chance of SCD
- The only cure for SCD is bone marrow transplant,and this has many complications which includes death.
We could help reduce its prevalence by checking our sickling status and that of our partners before thinking of marriage.
Yeah!!! I know you are in LOVE and all ,but trust me, love is the last thing you'll be thinking of when you start rushing a child in crisis to the hospital.
When you have to rush from work because your child fell sick in school, or even waking up in the middle of the night to rush them to hospital, that's no life at all.
It puts so much strain in on families,psychologically, physically and financially and there's usually no time to relax and have fun.
Yeah!!! I know it''s tough to break up,but can you imagine your child not being a normal,healthy , happy baby? Or your child not being able to play like every other child because any vigorous exercise will result in a crisis?
Let us keep spreading and sharing this information with our friends and family.
There are various causes of mortality,some we can't do anything about, but with SCD we can definitely do something about it.
I've seen so many beautiful, intelligent children and young people succumb to death as a result of SCD.
I have also seen the worry,pain and tears parents go through.
Let's put no child through this, every child deserves to be healthy and happy.
let's not put ourselves through this as well. We deserve to be happy too.......