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National Sickle Cell Awareness Month is commemorated every September to raise awareness and funding for sickle cell disease. The ultimate goal is to encourage research and treatment options that will improve the quality of life for those affected by this disease.
History of World Sickle Cell Awareness Day
With this inherited blood disorder, the red blood cells take on the shape of a sickle. When blood must move through small blood arteries, this kind causes problems, resulting in clogs, pain, and other, more serious symptoms.
This disease has been documented in Africa for at least 5,000 years, and it was formerly known by a variety of tribal names. The formal date of discovery and subsequent designation is 1910, according to medical history. Walter Clement Noel, a 20-year-old Grenada dentist, was studying dentistry in Chicago when he started experiencing acute pain and anaemia symptoms. He saw cardiologist Dr. James B. Herrick, who sent him to his resident, Dr. Ernest Irons. When Dr. Irons examined Walter’s blood under a microscope, he saw that the blood cells were in the shape of sickles.
More cases emerged after Herrick’s finding, mainly among African-Americans, but no one knew what the sickness was. 17 years after the discovery, two medical experts, surgeon Vernon Hahn and intern Elizabeth B. By removing oxygen from red blood cells, Gillespie discovered that they could be made to sickle. It was crucial to figure out what caused the illness and how to treat it. Other studies conducted around the same time period discovered a disorder called sickle trait, in which red blood cells’sickled’ when oxygen was low, but the person displayed no symptoms of the disease.
By the 1940s, another key notion about this condition had emerged: it was found that it was inherited from parents. People with sickle cells but no symptoms acquired the gene from one parent, whereas those with the disease got a double dose of the genes, according to two articles published independently of each other. Military doctor Col. E. A. Beet of Portuguese East Africa authored one article in an African medical journal (now called Mozambique). Dr. James V. Neel, the chairman and founder of the Department of Human Genetics at the University of Michigan, wrote the other piece in the American publication “Science.” Dr. Neel benefited from the American journal’s prominence and is frequently given entire credit for this finding.
According to research released in 1951, the oxygen-carrying protein haemoglobin in red blood cells has a different shape in people with sickle cell disease. Researchers were also able to understand more about how people were affected by the disease as a result of this. Improvements in diagnostic and therapeutic options began in the 1970s, and as a result, the life spans and quality of life of people with this condition have increased. Around this time, the National Association for Sickle Cell Condition, Inc., a non-profit organisation, noticed there was a lot of misinformation and false information around this disease. In 1975, they began a series of public awareness initiatives, and a year later, they established National Sickle Cell Awareness Month. Since then, the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America has been trying to improve treatments and find a cure. The federal government initially recognised this month in 1983, and America has been commemorating it ever since.
World Sickle Cell Awareness Day 2022 – Theme
Shine the Light on Sickle Cell is a national campaign to raise awareness about sickle cell illness and to commemorate World Sickle Cell Awareness Day 19th of June, 2022
World Sickle Cell Awareness Day 2022 – Significance
Building a community of helpers and advocates
The greater the number of individuals who are aware of and understand this sickness, the better equipped they will be to deal with it. Members can even start working together for shared causes to improve the lives of those affected by this condition.
Improves our understanding of the illness
This month’s events benefit those who are living with the disease and those whose lives have been affected by it. It even raises the number of people who get screened for this disease.
Accelerates treatment and cure
If we address the underlying obstacles that people with this disease face, we have a better chance of spreading the word. If more individuals understand about this illness and share their stories, we have a better chance of advocating for greater therapy, medications, and possibly a cure.
World Sickle Cell Awareness Day 2022 – Quotes
- “Being a survivor doesn’t mean being strong – it’s telling people when you need a meal or a ride, company, whatever. It’s paying attention to heart wisdom, feelings, not living a role, but having a unique, authentic life, having something to contribute, finding time to love and laugh. All these things are qualities of survivors.” –Bernie Siegel
- You recognize a survivor when you see one. You recognize a fighter when you see one.” —Elizabeth Edwards
- “Life isn’t perfect. When you get a knock, you have to get up, dust yourself down and get on with it.” –Patsy Kensit
- “What makes people resilient is the ability to find humour and irony in situations that would otherwise overpower you.”–Amy Tan
- “One who gains strength by overcoming obstacles possesses the only strength which can overcome adversity.” –Albert Schweitzer
- “Just as we develop our physical muscles through overcoming opposition – such as lifting weights – we develop our character muscles by overcoming challenges and adversity.” –Stephen Covey
- “Acceptance of what has happened is the first step to overcoming the consequences of any misfortune.” –William James
- “When faced with a challenge, happy families, like happy people, just add a new chapter to their life story that shows them overcoming the hardship.”–Bruce Feiler
World Sickle Cell Awareness Day 2022 – Quiz
Which of the following can increase a patient’s risk for developing sickle cell crisis?
- Lack of sleep
- Caucasian ethnicity
In patients with sickle cell disease, pain related to the sickle cell disease is most often caused by:
- Sickle cells competing with normal red cells for space in the smallest blood vessels (capillaries)
- Sickle cells having trouble traveling through the smallest blood vessels (capillaries)
- The inability of blood to clot when a person is cut
- Excessive clotting of blood when a person is cut
Ans: Sickle cells having trouble traveling through the smallest blood vessels (capillaries)
What protein is affected by sickle cell disease?
- Red Blood Cells
- White Blood Cells
Why do sickle cell anemia patients experience pain?
- Sickled red blood cells cause blockages
- The sickled blood cells are carried throughout the body to fast
- Sickled blood cells attack normal blood cells
- There is a lower number of white blood cells
Ans: Sickled red blood cells cause blockages
What are treatment(s) for sickle cell anemia?
- Blood Transfusion
- Bone Marrow Transplant
- All the above
Ans: Bone Marrow Transplant
What amino acid replaces another by substitution in a sickle cell RBC?
- Glutamic Acid
Ans: Glutamic Acid
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