Sickle Cell Anemia In Africa
Every year, almost 300,000 babies are born with a form of Sickle Cell Disease (SCD). The majority of the cases are in sub-Saharan Africa and associated with a very high rate of childhood mortality, 50%-90%. Still there is a lack of reliable, up-to-date information and populations have little access to currently available treatments and preventive interventions. Even in the absence of medication, health education has been demonstrated to be effective in reducing SCD mortality in young children. A pilot program in Benin has shown that with newborn screening and follow-up care, it is possible to reduce mortality among African children to the same level as other children.
Village Volunteers in partnership with Dr. Marie Ojiambo/Sickle Strong Initiative gives medical students, pre-med students, public health, nutrition, therapy students, and health professionals interested in the support of those affected by sickle cell anemia an opportunity to have an impact.
Opportunities for Pre-med and Medical Students
Work in clinical settings with medical preceptors in clinics, hospitals, and in support group meetings with those who are learning how to care for patients with SCD.
Goals and Objectives of Sickle Cell Disease Health:
- To work with students and professionals on a disease endemic in Africa with sparse care and education
- To bring patients and their families together to provide education on SCD
- To provide a platform for the affected to share their battles, motivate each other and learn from each other
- To provide opportunities for patients in need of advice on care, control and management of the disease
- To provide a platform for positive change, motivation and inspiration of patients suffering from the disease.