World Sickle Cell Day is observed every year on June 19 globally.
The main aim of observing this day is to raise awareness of sickle cell disorders.
The day also highlights the treatment, whether surgical or medicinal, that is available for the patient that is suffering from sickle cell disease.
The United Nations General Assembly, on December 22, 2008, adopted a resolution recognizing sickle cell disease as a public health problem.
The UN designated June 19 of every year as World Sickle Cell Awareness Day in order to raise awareness about the disorder on the national and international level.
Sickle cell disease makes normal life difficult and patients need regular blood transfusions.
About Sickle cell disease (SCD):
- Sickle cell anemia is a genetic red blood cell disorder.
- According to the mayoclinic.org., people with sickle cell disorders don’t have enough healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout the body.
- SCD is a group of blood disorders that affect a person’s red blood cells.
- It is a genetic condition that is passed on from parents.
- The disorder causes normal round and flexible blood cells to become stiff and sickle shaped, which in turn stops the blood cells and the oxygen they carry from moving freely around the body.
Symptoms of sickle cell disorder:
- Signs and symptoms of sickle cell anemia usually appear around five months of age and they vary from person to person and may change over time.
- Patients with sickle cell disorder suffer from anemia as their red blood cells die easily leading to shortage of healthy cells.
- The body does not get enough oxygen without adequate red blood cells and this causes fatigue.
- Episodes of pain are a major symptom of sickle cell anemia but it varies from person to person.
- It can last for a few hours to a few weeks.
- Swelling of hands and feet and frequent infections are common.
- Shortage of healthy red blood cells can lead to slower growth in children.