"Break the Silence, Let's Care" — Sickle Cell Disease

"Break the Silence, Let's Care" — Sickle Cell Disease

The Love Jones actor is a national spokesman for sickle cell disease awareness, telling WebMD, "It's really important to know if you carry the disease ..."

He spoke on the sidelines of the annual public lecture on Sickle Cell Disorder.

In his words: "in addition, my book "Unveiling Sickle Cell Anaemia" was borne out of my personal health experiences, in addition to my experiences as a medical laboratory professional, as a caregiver".

In support of World Sickle Cell Day, the American Society of Hematology (ASH) is taking measures to raise awareness of SCD in Africa in an effort to improve health outcomes for people with the disease from infant to adulthood. These sickle shaped cells do not last more than 20 days.

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"Sickle cell disease is an inherited disease of red blood cells, which is characterized by pain episodes (crisis) anaemia, damaged to organs, and infections, severe anaemia, delayed growth, skin ulcers, prepism, and stroke, among others".

The videos highlight efforts now underway in Ghana, a country with a high incidence of SCD, to help dispel myths and eliminate the stigma of the disease.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the lecture was organised by the Sickle Cell Foundation Nigeria in partnership with Pfizer Pharmaceutical Company to commemorate the 2018 World Sickle Cell Day. If both parents have this gene (called sickle cell trait), there is a 25% chance their child will be born with sickle cell disease.

An NGO, Sickle Cell Hope Alive Foundation (SCHAF), through its projectsn "Know Your Genotype and Operation Catch them Young" admonished students of secondary schools in Olomi area of Ibadan as part of the campaign against the sickle-cell disease.

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"This plan should entails early diagnosis with newborn screening, while the main target should be the mothers who are AS genotype carrier".

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Iwalokun, also a Molecular Biologist, called for public awareness on the need for sickle cell patients to have access to Sickle Cell Centre, where they could access Hydroxyurea drugs. This stigma is also fueled by labeling people with sickle cell as "sicklers". "They are not in huge numbers like cancer or diabetes, but if it's one suffering, we need to pay attention to that and find ways to help that patient and their family", said Lois Williams, president of the Sickle Cell Association. However, this is still a challenge across the country because the numbers of specialized sickle cell clinics is still low. The government provides free treatment for sickle cell anaemia. As parents, it's our responsibility to request a sickle cell test when our babies have been born.

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