World Sickle Cell Day is celebrated every day on June 19 to improve public awareness about the genetic disease. This day was first recognized by the United Nation in 2008.
Sickle cell disease is the most commonly occurring genetic disease and it is found worldwide. According to the UN, an estimated 500,000 are born every year with this condition and sadly half of them will die before their fifth birthday.
Sickle cell disease is an abnormality where the red blood cells are sickle-shaped. It is an inherited disease that severely endangers the life of the patient.
When a person suffers from sickle cell anemia, the cell gets stuck in the blood vessels and it impairs their movement through the veins. They get rigid and sticky instead of flowing smoothly. So oxygen and nutrients are not transported well through the body.
With more than 300,000 babies born with sickle cell disease every year, Nigeria has the highest burden of sickle cell disorders in the world.
Over the years, advocates have constantly raised awareness on the need for Africans to always check their genotype before getting married.
The United Nations recognizes sickle cell disease as a public health problem and one of the world’s foremost genetic diseases and it calls on member states and the organisations of the united nations
system to raise awareness of sickle cell anemia at national and international levels.