Friday June 19, 2020 : the World Sickle Cell Anemia Day

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Sickle cell disease is a genetic disease of the blood, which affects black people in particular. This peculiarity explains why it is, on the African continent, the first genetic disease affecting, from birth, thousands of patients.

The fight against sickle cell disease has been a WHO priority for Africa since 2009 and ranks fourth in the world public health priorities, after cancer, AIDS and malaria.

Getting to know sickle cell better.

From the Greek drepnos, (sickle), also called hemoglobinosis S, sickleemia, or sickle cell anemia (sickle-cell anemia in English), sickle cell anemia is an inherited disease which is characterized by the alteration of hemoglobin, the protein ensuring the transport of oxygen in the blood.

Sickle cell anemia is not a very rare disease. It is particularly frequent in populations of sub-Saharan African origin, the Antilles, India, the Middle East and the Mediterranean basin. It is estimated that 50 million people are affected worldwide. This genetic disease is also a major cause of death in sub-Saharan Africa due to the lack of information and follow-up on the part of families.

According to statistics from the World Health Organization, 4,000 children are born with sickle cell disease each year in Cameroon. As a result, all age groups are affected, namely young people aged 10 to 29, who represent a rate of 89.2% of the sick.

However, in Cameroon, we note the absence of a specific program for the care of sickle cell patients like the other programs related to tuberculosis and malaria (PLNT and PNLP); yet this disease remains a public health problem. We also note that the average life expectancy of a sickle cell is 25 years.

We then invite the Ministry of Public Health, to put in place more measures in order to reinforce assistance of people living with stickle cell.

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