Core area of focus-Sickle cell disease
According to the WHO (world health organization),Sickle cell disease (SCD), or sickle cell anaemia, is a major genetic disease that affects most countries in the African Region . In sickle cell disease, the normal round shape of red blood cells become like crescent moons. Round red blood cells can move easily through the blood vessels but sickled shaped cells interconnect and can result in blood clots.
These blood clots can cause extreme pain in the back, chest, arms and limbs. The disrupted blood flow can also cause damage to bones, muscles and organs. People with sickle cell disease often feel weak, tired and look pale. The whites of the eyes and skin often have a yellowish tint.
Environmental factors often play a role in the occurrence of painful attacks. Common triggers include cold temperatures, dehydration, excessive amounts of exercise and tobacco smoke. Other triggers such as plane flights and high altitudes can also trigger an attack.
In the Sub-Saharan Africa, majority of children with the most severe form of the disease die before the age of 5, usually from an infection or severe blood loss.
We at SSCD foundation are committed to reducing the death rate for the SCD patients in Africa in general and Nigeria in particular. This we intend to achieve by making available to as many SCD warriors (especially those in indigent and rural communities)as our resources permit us to reach out to; medical supplies, supplements and insecticide treated nets, to aid in reducing the occurence of malarial infection which triggers at least 50 percent of crises and possibly death.
- Approximately 5% of the world's population carries trait genes for haemoglobin disorders, mainly, sickle-cell disease and thalassaemia.
- Haemoglobin disorders are genetic blood diseases due to inheritance of mutant haemoglobin genes from both, generally healthy, parents.
- Over 300 000 babies with severe haemoglobin disorders are born each year.
- The health burden of haemoglobin disorders can be effectively reduced through management and prevention programmes.
|Sickle Cell Disease: A Global Public Health Challenge|
|COUNTRY||SICKLE CELL BIRTHS / YEAR|
|Democratic Republic Of Congo||59 743|
|Sub-Saharan African Total||320 663|
|Worldwide Total Nigeria||394 249|
The diagram above shows a distribution of the spread of new births affected by SCD globally on a yearly basis. From the diagram above it evident that the global prevalence of this disease is highest in sub-Saharan Africa, with a staggering yearly birth of 394 249 babies yearly as at 2018. What is more worrisome is the fact that only 10 percent of this large figure will survive with the present state of awareness and preparedness of primary health care institutions in the region to handle the condition.
Advancement in the field of medicine has increased the survival rate for babies born with the sickle cell disease globally, but the impact of this advancement is not being felt in Africa, as clearly shown on the chart above; this is as a result of systemic failure of PHC institutions and health care agencies in many cases and also as a result of poverty.
Our approach at the SSCF is a multi-pronged approached geared towards the reduction in the rate of the occurrence of this genetic condition through enlightenment outreaches and engagement as well as multi-faceted strategy for the management of the disease when it occurs in order to reduce the death rate and eliminate complications to the barest minimum.