World Sickle Cell Awareness Day – June 19th

Photo: A group of babies.SCD is a serious condition that affects people around the world.

Due to the severity of health complications associated with SCD there is a need for increased knowledge and awareness about the disease.

Join us in celebrating World Sickle Cell Awareness Day-Educate and Unite. World Sickle Cell Awareness Day is June 19. This annual event commemorates the date in 2008 when the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted a resolution recognizing sickle cell disease (SCD) as a public health concern.

World Sickle Cell Awareness Day provides an opportunity to increase understanding of SCD and how the disease affects individuals and families worldwide.

Facts about SCD:

SCD is an inherited group of red blood cell disorders.

  • Among people with SCD, “sickle” or abnormally shaped red blood cells get stuck in small blood vessels and block the flow of blood and oxygen to organs in the body. These blockages can cause repeated episodes of severe pain, organ damage, and serious infections, or even stroke.
  • It is estimated that SCD affects 90,000 to 100,000 people in the United States, mainly Blacks or African Americans. The disease occurs among about 1 of every 500 Black or African-American births and among about 1 out of every 36,000 Hispanic-American births.
  • SCD affects millions of people throughout the world and is particularly common among those whose ancestors come from sub-Saharan Africa; regions in the Western Hemisphere (South America, the Caribbean, and Central America); Saudi Arabia; India; and Mediterranean countries such as Turkey.

The Global Impact of SCD

graphic: World Sickle Cell Awareness DaySCD is a significant cause of mortality and morbidity that merits closer consideration. The World Health Organization (WHO) has estimated that SCD contributes to 5% of the deaths of children younger than 5 years of age in some African countries.

While an increasing proportion of affected children now survive past 5 years of age, many remain at risk of premature death. With early detection and use of public health interventions such as penicillin, many of these deaths can be prevented. Additionally, the burden of this disease can be reduced with increased global resources and effective partnerships.

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* This information provided courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control.

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