Every year on June 19, World Sickle Cell Day is observed by the United Nations to improve understanding about the most frequent genetic disease. This year, on World Sickle Cell Day 2019, we celebrate the 40th year of the observation. Sick cell disease is the most commonly-occurring genetic disease and it is found worldwide. According to the UN, an estimated 5,00,000 are born every year with this condition. And heartbreakingly, half of them will perish before their fifth birthday.
Sickle Cell Disease is an abnormality where the red blood cells are sickle-shaped. It's an inherited disease that severely endangers the life of the patient. When the person suffers from sickle cell anaemia, the sickle-shaped cells get stuck in the blood vessels, impairing their movement through the veins. They get rigid and sticky instead of flowing smoothly. So oxygen and nutrients are not transported well through the body.
History of World Sickle Cell Day
World Sickle Cell Day was first recognised by the United Nations in 2008. The Sickle Cell Disease International Organisation (SCDIO), the Republic of Congo and the Republic of Senegal, the African Union, the UNESCO and WHO backed the observation of the day.
Significance of World Sickle Cell Day
World Sickle Cell Day like most health days is celebrated to improve public awareness about the inherited disease. By organising various events, all the agencies working for sickle cell awareness aims to spread information about the disease, its symptoms and its treatment.
The day is celebrated to improve treatment outcomes of sickle cell disease through early diagnosis. The day is a meeting of minds where NGOs, doctors, governments and support groups come together to find strategies to eliminate the sickle cell disease.