WHY WE CELEBRATE WORLD SICKLE CELL DAY
Did you know that sickle cell Anemia is most common in African countries? The blood disorder was brought about while trying to fend off malaria which is widespread in African countries especially in the sub-Sahara, hence the high rates of sickle cell Anemia in that region. The sickle cell blood disorder is one that causes the red blood cell to take on the shape of a sickle when oxygen is lost to the body tissues. It is a disorder that can be passed down from parents to their offspring’s.
The United Nations general assembly in 2008 declared June 19th as world sickle cell day eventually recognising it as a global health issue. It was created by the need to create awareness about the sickle cell blood disorder, and its treatments.
Every year different institutions and organizations come together to celebrate the world sickle cell day and to raise public awareness on the disorder.
In Nigeria, organizations and institutions participate in “The Red Umbrella Walk” as a way of celebrating the world sickle cell day and raising awareness about sickle cell disorder.
The Red Umbrella Walk was the brain child of Sickle cell advocacy & management initiative in Nigeria, and has now been incorporated, by other organizations in the country, such as the coalition of sickle cell ngos in the country.