Healthcare and Management of
Persons living with Sickle cell disorder

The cure of sickle cell disorder might not be easily accessible, but it can be well managed.

The management involves various activities which include:

  1. Eating a balanced diet – Proper diet is essential to supply the much-needed nutrients for the body functions.
  2. Water intake – Drinking plenty of water is non-negotiable. Water aids the ease of flow of red blood cells across the several blood vessels in the body.
  3. Taking routine drugs such as folic acid, multivitamins, paludrine, etc. to stay healthy
  4. Rest – Getting enough rest helps the body to recover from wear and tear of daily activities.
  5. Avoid stressful events – Engage in work and other tasks according to your capacity and pace. Do not compare yourself with anybody, not even others living with the condition.
  6. Taking a lot of fruits – Fruits are available in their respective season. Snack on them rather than on junk food. They are helpful for your health.
  7. Participate in simple exercise – This is also dependent on your wellbeing and ability per time
  8. Do not stay in an environment that is too hot or too cold – Extremes of weather are triggers for pain crises. Avoid it.
  9. Do not self-medicate to avoid drug addiction – Drug addiction is real. It can also happen to people living with sickle cell disorder. Don’t get caught in the web.
  10. Visit your doctor regularly – Medical professionals are your friends. Their input, support, and counsel will go a long way in helping you lead a healthy and productive life.

Common Myths and Misconceptions About Sickle Cell Disorder And Their Corresponding Facts

Myth: Sickle cell disorder is a black man’s disease
Fact: Though it is common among Africans and people of African descent, it is not limited to them. It is also found in parts of Asia, Arab Countries and some Mediterranean countries.

Myth: Sickle cell disorder is contagious
Fact: It is never infectious. It is an inherited blood condition meaning it is transferred from parents to offsprings. It is an inherited genetic blood disorder/ disease.

Myth: Sickle cell disorder has no cure
Fact: There is a cure for sickle cell disorder. It is called a bone marrow transplant or stem cell transplant. However, not all persons living with sickle cell disorder are eligible for the surgery. It is also quite expensive.

Myth: Individuals living with sickle cell disorder do not attain age 21
Fact: Individuals living with sickle cell disorder live above the age 21, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70 and above. They can live life long, full and fulfilled. With adequate healthcare and management, they can reach the peak of their lives.

Myth: Individuals living with sickle cell disorder feign the pains; it is not that serious.
Fact: Appreciating the pain experienced by sickle cell warriors (a name preferred) can be very hard. The excruciating pains felt might become unexplainable even for themselves. Some women have opined that labour pain is nothing compared to pain crises at its height.

Myth: Individuals living with sickle cell disorder are immune to malaria.
Fact: Individuals living with sickle cell disorder are not immune to malaria. They are prone to it. People with sickle cell must prevent it at all cost as it is a killer for the young and adults alike.

Misconception: Individuals living with sickle cell disorder are lazy.
Fact: Individuals living with sickle cell disorder can engage in productive activities. They can hold jobs, start businesses, can play and do sports. Like every other person, they should not engage in activities that will affect their health.

Misconception: Individuals can outgrow sickle cell disorder
Fact: Individuals cannot outgrow sickle cell disorder. Not at 21, 25, 30, whatever years of age. Not even after getting married or giving birth. It is a lifelong condition.