World Sickle Cell Day
June 19th, 2013 marks the third annual World Sickle Cell Day, which was developed by the United Nations to promote awareness of Sickle Cell Disease. SCD is one of the most widespread and frequent diseases in the world, affecting people on four different continents: Africa, Asia, the Americas, and Europe. According to the United Nations, approximately half a million people are born with SCD per year; furthermore, half of those people will die within the first five years of life. SCD affects mainly those with ancestries from Africa, Asia, and Europe.
Sickle Cell Disease is one of the most serious blood disorders. Instead of normal disc-shaped blood cells, people with SCD have blood cells shaped like crescents, or sickles. This is caused by abnormal hemoglobin, or hemoglobin S, and makes blood cells hard and sticky. In effect, blood flow can be obstructed and cause pain and organ damage throughout the body. Thus, SCD is a very painful disease for all who are afflicted.
Sickle Cell Disease is inherited. It is also chronic, for there is no cure. However, there are treatments available for improving anemia and other symptoms of SCD, many of which have extended the lifespan of those affected into middle-age and longer.
Do your part on June 19th to combat Sickle Cell Disease and raise awareness. Visit the following websites for more information or to donate:
- To submit an application for Child Ambassador, go to http://www.sicklecelldisease.org
Tagged: abnormal hemoglobin, blood disorders, june 19, national child ambassador, organ damage, pain, SCD, SCDAA, sickle cell, sickle cell anemia, sickle cell disease, united nations, world sickle cell day