by Marshaneil Soumi D’ Rozario | 19 Jun 2018
World Sickle Cell Day is celebrated across the world on June 19, 2018. The Sickle Cell Day is celebrated to increase the awareness about the sickle cell disease and its cure among the common public. The date was chosen to commemorate the day on which a resolution was officially adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations, recognizing SCD as a public health concern. The best way to assist the Sickle Cell fatality is by creating awareness, educating people and restoring hope.
Sickle Cell disease is an inheritable, genetic and fatal causing red blood cell disorders, which has been classified as sickle cell anemia and may lead to death. It is the most common public health problem in the African and Asian countries of the world. Sickle cell disease occurs when hemoglobin in one's blood clumps together, causing red blood cells to become abnormally shaped. While healthy blood cells are normally round, in someone with this disease, they are C-shaped, like a sickle, and don't flow properly. The World Health Organization (WHO) considers it to be one of the main causes of premature death amongst children under the age of five in various African countries.
Dr. Surekha Devi A, HOD & Specialist for Hematology and Transfusion Department at Gleneagles Global Hospitals says, “Sickle cells are sticky and block blood flow in vessels, which not only puts patients at a risk of stroke, it causes intense pain too. Still, there has been so little research on sickle cell disease that it is difficult to even write evidence-based protocols. The hallmark of the disease is what is called a painful vaso-occlusive crisis, where patients have significant bone pain requiring hospitalization and a lot of pain medications. There has been a marked improvement in treatments. As recently as 30 years ago, the average lifespan for people with sickle cell disease was only 14 years. Today, life expectancy can reach 42 and beyond.”
"We've made strides in the last 20 years, particularly with a drug called hydroxyurea," she says.
“The medication augments production of fetal hemoglobin, which reduces the chance of red blood cells morphing into sickles. While it doesn't work for everyone, in some, it can reduce hospitalizations. By taking this medication on a daily basis, we can ameliorate the patient for certain period," Dr. Surekha Devi said, "and in some patients, they simply stop having these painful episodes."
Dr. Surekha Devi A, of Gleneagles Global Hospital, detected that early screening might safeguard the patients who have a vulnerability of permanent kidney damage; stroke or other chronic conditions due to delayed diagnosis and in turn delayed medical intervention.
Sickle cells die quickly, which causes the constant shortage of red blood cells known as ‘Anaemia ’. While that aspect of the disease leaves patients feeling exhausted, for many, the most difficult part is the episodes of debilitating discomfort.
Sickle cell disease has become a common and foremost genetic disease worldwide which can be cured through the fast awareness campaign, curable activities, early diagnosis, and management. World Sickle Cell Day is focused on implementing health programs that can be used in screening patients so that early diagnosis can be made. The new patients are encouraged to get immunizations and to be aware of the comprehensive packages of care.
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