Sickle cell Anaemia is a hereditary blood disease that is passed on to the child of often healthy parents via genes that get mutated. WHO estimates put the number of patients at 300k babies and the number of mutated gene carriers at 5% of the world’s population. Despite this large number, most people are unaware of the several ways in which one can manage and prevent this disease. To rectify this error, W.H.O. has been attempting to improve people’s knowledge regarding the disease since 2006. The primary purpose is to create awareness about the different methods of prevention and cure of Sickle Cell Anaemia. One can say there are 4 key significances of the day,
Spread Awareness - Sickle Cell Anaemia is considered to be one of the most dangerous genetic diseases in today’s world. Yet, maximum people are unaware of not just the methods of combating it, but also its presence. The worldwide recognition of 19th June as World Sickle Cell day makes people aware that such a disease exists. Activities undertaken by various organisations and government institutions further educate the people about its symptoms and methods of cure. There are also several myths associated with it that need to be removed. Like any other disease, if people are just told that it’s dangerous and has been declared to be a worldwide problem by W.H.O., they are bound to panic. Hence, campaigns are required to not just make people aware of this disease but also educate them about its different elements.
Make healthcare services more accessible - activities organized to celebrate the day include the screening of patients at health camps. If one becomes aware of the fact that they are a gene carrier, they’ll be aware of the risk of diseases their children can have and can take appropriate prevention measures or at least be aware of the situation before they engage in a relationship with another carrier. Moreover, there are several methods of cure and prevention ranging from immunisation to care packages varying by country. New parents should be aware of this.
Provide support to countries struggling with this disease - W.H.O. and the U.N. themselves conduct several activities that help equip certain countries better for combating this disease.
Encourage research into the treatment of the disease - while there are already several forms of treatment available for this disease, there is always scope for improving our understanding of the same. While prevention and immunisation are the easiest ways to fight this worldwide problem, it is only through research into the root causes of the problem that we can completely eradicate it.