Did you know sickle cell disease originally originated from West Africa where it has the highest prevalence? It arose from five separate mutations; one in the middle east and India, and four in Africa.
National sickle cell awareness month is held every September to raise awareness for sickle cell disease. This year’s world sickle cell awareness theme is “ Shine the light on sickle cell” and will be held on the 18th of September. The Burgundy color ribbon has been selected to represent sickle cell.
Today, despite the detailed explanation made available on sickle cell, it is still a serious and recorded clinical problem. Stem cell or bone marrow transplants are the only cure for sickle cell disease, but this is not done often because of the significant risks involved.
Now don’t get mad when your church refuses to wed sickle cell carrier couples. They are doing them a favor by being the thinking brains behind blinded love. Bring a child into the world to suffer is a selfish thing to do. A carrier who has one copy of the mutant hemoglobin S gene will definitely not have sickle cell symptoms, but when two carriers come together, there is a 25% chance of having a baby with hemoglobin SS. The pain and trauma that come with this can terribly interfere with the child’s life, education, and employment.
How do we help?
We can start by not stigmatizing sickle cell patients. They are as human as we all are. Segregating them from society and seeing them in a different way only harms us as a collective and prevents them from showcasing the amazing talents they have.
Pre-marital screening is important before conducting a wedding. Don’t be among the selfish percentage that still goes ahead to get married against advice. You might reap with your sowed and not love it.
So spread love. Own your A’s and S’s. Live life to the fullest; sometimes you will hurt, but there’s always enough love to share with you. And hey, Malaria has got nothing on you.