India steps up to the challenge of a high SC population, Ghana shows some appreciation, Nigeria starts Bone Marrow Transplants, Dancing with the Stars for Sickle Cell, and a new Adult SC clinic in Arkansas. Get the latest SC news and research updates now.
In Dhenkanal, India, the Red Cross has instituted a new policy to give free blood and treatment to patients with sickle cell disease and thallesemia. These patients will be issued a Transfusion Card, which will allow them to have access to blood transfusions and healthcare. There is good news for thalassaemia or sickle cell patients in Dhenkanal. This is a great step for a nation that has an estimated 20 million patients with sickle cell disease. Read more HERE.
Also in Raipur, India, the Chhattisgarh district has instituted new screening policies for children in school, mothers and newborns to screen for sickle cell trait and disease. Chhattisgarh is one of the major districts affected by sickle cell in Raipur, and this new policy will allow the health department officials to identify at risk patients, and provide better medical treatment; as well as education to the population in an effort to stem the high prevalence of sickle cell. The project will be overseen by the new Centre for Genetic Diseases and Molecular Biology. Read more HERE.
Talking about the sickle cell census, the president of Sickle Cell Advocates (SICCA), announced last week that 15,000 kids are born with sickle cell in Ghana annually, and only 5% of them live past age 5. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) report on sickle cell, about 25 to 30 per cent of Ghanaians carry sickle cell genes that can result in the disease. This statement came as a result of the new partnership between the Ministry of Health and Brazil regarding sickle cell treatment and research that we talked about in February. Anyway, read more about Ghana’s sickle cell crisis HERE.
Nigeria steps into the limelight this fortnight with great news of entering the bone marrow treatment ring. 50 children between 1-16 will be selected to receive bone marrow transplant, in conjuction with the Sickle Cell Foundation, Nigeria (SCFN), the National Hospital, Abuja, and the Mediterranean Institute of Hematology (IME) in Italy. The transplant process will cost $110, 000 per child and will families must be able to afford the transportation costs to Rome, and the initial screening for a marrow process. In the next 4 years, 50 kids will get the BMT, and physicians that practice in Nigeria will go train in Italy to learn the BMT process in the effect that Bone Marrow Transplants will be performed in Nigeria in the near future. If you live in Nigeria, and would like to participate, register with SCFN. Read more.
In Bahrain, there has been another series of deaths related to sickle cell disease. 2 prison detainees died last week after being severely beaten in their cells by prison guards. They both had sickle cell anemia, and died shortly thereafter. The detainees were arrested during protests against the government, and were being held in custody until trial. Please pray for the families of Zakaraya Rashed Hassan and Hasan Jasem Makki. May they find peace and solace. Read more HERE and HERE.
Back in the USA, The Arkansas governor Mark Beebe, has signed a new Bill, House Bill 1604 creating the Adult Sickle Cell Clinic of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. The legislation ensures the clinic’s physicians and nurses are trained in treating sickle cell disease in adults, and patients will be tracked to make sure the treatment is effective. WOOHOO!
The Philadelphia Branch of SCDAA hosted the 2011 3rd annual Philadelphia Dancing with the Stars to raise money and awareness for sickle cell disease, research and education. 10 couples performed last night; each celebrity dancer is partnered with an instructor from the Society Hill Dance Academy to perform a two-minute dance routine before a panel of judges. The winner will receive a 2011 Platinum Collection Escalade from General Motors for the month of May. I wish I had heard about this earlier. Hopefully the event was a huge success. Read more about the participants and event HERE.
This rounds up our update for March 24-April 11, 2011. Catch you next time.