In December 2008, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly passed a Resolution recognizing Sickle Cell anaemia as a public health problem and declared 19 June of each year as World Sickle Cell Day. It went ahead and urged member states, UN Agencies, funds and programs, international institutions, development partners, and civil society etc. to use the day to raise awareness of the Sickle Cell Disease (SCD).
This Friday 19th June 2020, we are going to celebrate World Sickle Cell Day! Yipee!
Even though we cannot use just one day to create the needed awareness we can still use the day to pause and reflect on the many issues concerning the Sickle Cell Disease and also celebrate the many Sickle Cell Survivors.
Today, I just want to share with you, how, in your own small way and corner, you can be involved in the celebration of World Sickle Cell Day.
- If you have friends who have the sickle cell condition, reach out to them and let them know they are not alone in this journey. Celebrate and encourage them for how far they have come in spite of this health challenge. I am sure they will appreciate it!
- If you do not know your genotype, use this day to mark a date on your calendar as your test date. Write it down and commit to following through with it. Take charge of your health and your future! #iknowmygenotype
- If you know your genotype, use this day to encourage others to test to know their sickling status.
- You could also start a conversation with others about sickle cell and the many myths and misinformation about it leading to stigmatization of those with the condition. Give out information and bring awareness to your home, circle of friends, and community.
- Use your social media platform to share the word about sickle cell.
- Commit to support any sickle cell organization within your community. If you do not know any, this is an opportunity to research and find one.
There is so much work to be done, remember, we are all in this together.
It is my prayer that we continue to use World Sickle Cell Day to share information and create awareness about the Sickle Cell Disease. Celebrate the health professionals and researchers etc. who have dedicated their lives to working to improve the lives of those with the condition. But most importantly let us celebrate the many ‘warriors’ and their families who on a daily basis continue to battle with the condition.