Sickle cell disease is perhaps the most common inherited blood disorder. That means it’s passed down through families. You’re born with the disorder, it is not something you catch or develop later in life.
The disease gets its name from the shape of the red blood cells of a person with the disorder. The cells look like a sickle, which is a C-shaped farm tool. The disease primarily affects Africans and African Americans with three quarters of cases occurring in Africa. In Nigeria it affects two of every hundred children. Virtually all of the major symptoms of sickle cell anemia are the direct result of the abnormally shaped red blood cells blocking the flow of blood. It causes suffering for innumerable patients and their families.
The current treatment of sickle cell anemia is directed primarily toward managing the individual features of the illness as they occur and usually continues throughout the life time of a sickle cell disorder patient.
One of the organisations involved in the fight against sickle cell is SCAF, Sickle Cell Aid Foundation. The activities of the foundation includes everything from sensitization campaigns to organisation of genotype testing drives and blood donation drives, alongside assistance to sufferers of the disease.
One of the biggest challenges the foundation faces in its work is access to funds to carry out its activities. It is in light of this that it launched a donation drive aimed at raising 10 million Naira in 30 days. Donors from all over Nigeria and beyond are encouraged to make donations from as little N1,000 to the cause. The drive has been on for almost 20 days and at the last published update N4,010,145,81 has been raised by 1,100 donors.
Please donate to the cause if you have not and if you have, please spread the word and encourage others to do so.
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