About Sickle Cell
Sickle Cell disease is a genetic disorder that affects the hemoglobin in the red blood cells. Hemoglobin is a protein that carries oxygen to different parts of the body. The three most common types of sickle cell disease are hemoglobin SS disease (also called sickle cell anemia), hemoglobin SC disease and sickle cell beta thalassemia. Sickle cell anemia is a non-contagious disease. It is an inherited disorder of the red blood cell.
In the United States, it is more common among African Americans. Sickle cell Disease is also common in other racial/ethnic groups in the United States and around the world especially in Africa. CSCF main focus is in Sierra Leone, which is located on the west coast of Africa.
Sierra Leone has the highest death of infant mortality in the world, with little progress. Most of these deaths are caused by Pneumonia, Malaria, Infections, Tetanus, and other diseases like Sickle Cell, that have been wrongly diagnosed. The coordinator of the Sierra Leone Sickle Cell Disease Association (SLSCDS) identified that 23.9% of sickle cell children with Sickle Cell are hemoglobin SS—the most severe case of sickle cell1. Most children with sickle cell disease feel and look fine most of the time if given proper care. When they have medical problems or having a crisis they become very sick quickly and with little or no warning. For this reason, Coulson Sickle Cell Foundation of Sierra Leone is on a mission with other organizations to introduce the test of all newborns in Sierra Leone for sickle cell disease, and also indentifying infants and children who have been living with this disease to get proper care.
There is no cure for the disease; most of the medical care involves treating or preventing the problems. Our foundation mission is to make specialty care available to infant and children. Our foundation has put in place treatment center in Freetown, which will be open February of 2009. And we will be working with team of specialist in the United States and Sierra Leone together to help the family manages the child’s health care needs.
1 Awoko—a local Sierra Leonean newspaper