From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
In Sierra Leone, World Sickle Cell Day observed
By Augustine Samba
Jun 22, 2010, 17:05

The United Nations last year officially set aside June 19th as the World Sickle Cell Day, giving attention to hitherto one of the neglected but fatal illnesses affecting millions in the world. To commemorate the second anniversary of the day, the Sierra Leone Government, through the Ministry of Health and Sanitation on Saturday 19th June 2010 collaborated with the Sierra Leone Sickle Cell Society (SLSC) and the Sickle Cell Care Awareness Network (SCAN) to actualize the day at 24 Thomas Street in Freetown, the headquarters of the Sickle Cell Society.

Addressing hundreds of sickle cell patients and their relatives, the Coordinator of the Society, Madam Amelia Eva Gabba said 24% of Sierra Leone’s population has the trace of sickle cell, meaning, every family and tribe in Sierra Leone is affected by this dreadful disease. She however, said that one of the impediments in diagnosing the illness is the total portrayal of ignorance by people. She therefore underpinned the need for thorough education as a way of sensitization on the dangers of the disease. "Sickle cell is a hereditary disease, contracted from birth that affects the blood cells of infected persons", she informed, adding that the attack causes abnormal hemoglobin for which she said regular treatments is required, supplemented by enough water and food intake into the system to keep their body healthy at all times.

"It is in this vein that we are appealing to donors and the government to support the Sierra Leone Sickle Cell Society so as to capacitate us to continue providing sufficient medication for the patients," she concluded.

SCAN representative, Tamba Milton Dauda thanked the United Nations for setting the day aside in remembrance of victims. He reiterated that it was the second time for commemorating world’s sickle cell day globally. He assured all sickle cell patients that the Sierra Leone Sickle Cell Society will continue to care and support victims across the country.

© Copyright 2005, Freetown, Sierra Leone.