Opinions Tue, 19 Jun 2018

World Sickle Cell Day; Redcard Sickle Cell Disease

On the19th of June every year we celebrate World Sickle Cell Day. On this day we create awareness about Sickle Cell Disease(SCD), a disease that has brought untold hardships and misery upon many families, a disease that has stolen the joy from the childhood of many children.

With all the awareness going on, there are many who are dating and have plans of marriage but their only headache is how to look good during their pre-wedding photoshoot. There are others whose major concern happens to be the dance moves with which they will enter their wedding reception.

They have in one way or the other relegated to the background the importance of the health status with which their children will enter the world, the reason being that they have no idea their sickling status and that of their partners. There is also the group that have taken the right step of taking the test and finding out that their sickling status makes them incompatible but still have the conviction that love conquers all including their SCD incompatibility.

These actions and inactions eventually affect such families physically, financially and psychologically if they give birth to a child with SCD. This is a wake up call to us all that the choices we make before marriage can save our unborn children from Sickle Cell Disease.

That notwithstanding, if you already have a child with SCD, you should not give up but should rather have some few things in mind. First of all, children are a blessing from God, which some people are not privileged to have and for that matter all children should be treated as the precious gifts that they are even if they have SCD. Secondly, parents should know that with advancement in health care, having SCD does not mean he child is bound to die today, tomorrow, next week, next month or next year.

They should bear in mind that even though SCD can be painful and stressful, these children can survive and grow up to lead meaningful lives just like the other children without this disease condition and parents should therefore give them all the love, motivation, education and health care that they need and not see them out of frustration as some transient beings who do not deserve any worthy investment.

Parents should also make it a point to seek health care for these children from the appropriate quarters and not turn them into lab rats for some unscrupulous people in their bid to help their children as these may lead to further harm being done.

Let us all make it a point to talk to someone today about Sickle Cell Disease because we have no idea how helpful it can be. To those who have plans of getting married, do your best not to gamble with the life of your child even before he is born and to all stakeholders in the fight against SCD, let us continue with the good fight and play our roles effectively to make sure SCD haunts nobody in the near future.



Columnist: Prince Kyei Baffour