World Sickle Cell Day

Each year on 19th June, World Sickle Cell Awareness Day is commemorated to raise awareness and understanding about the disease and the problems that patients and their families encounter. Patients with sickle cell disease develop sickle-shaped red blood cells, which can clump together and prevent blood and oxygen from reaching all regions of the body. It is a blood condition that is passed down the generations. Patients with the disease may endure discomfort, anaemia, infection, and other major health issues that may necessitate medical attention. It is essentially a category of illnesses affecting the red blood cell molecule and haemoglobin. Haemoglobin S is seen in those who have Sickle disease. This is an unusual haemoglobin molecule that causes red blood cells to deform into a sickle shape. It is an inherited blood disorder.

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History of World Sickle Cell Day

On 22nd December, 2008, in the 63rd session the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution recognising “sickle cell anaemia as a public health problem” and urging Member States and UN organisations to raise awareness of sickle cell anaemia – one of the world’s most common and lethal genetic diseases – at international and national levels on 19th June. On June 19th, 2009, the first Sickle Cell Day was observed.

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Significance

While the disease/disorder has no permanent cure, there are treatments available to relieve pain and avoid complications which might be caused due to this. The disease is not very uncommon today, and often goes undiagnosed or neglected leading to permanent complications. The observance of this day helps raise awareness about the dicker cell disorder so that it can be diagnosed before the birth of the child, and treat the diseases caused by this disorder in young children and adults.

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