In 1975, the National Association for Sickle Cell Disease (NASCD) of the United States spearheaded a month-long event to raise awareness on the Sickle Cell Disease (SCD). In 1983, American President Reagan issued a proclamation designating the month of September as “National Sickle-Cell Anemia Awareness Month”. In Kenya, the month is primarily recognized by various organizations that support, create awareness and facilitate activities in commemoration of the Sickle Cell awareness month.
One of the greatest achievements for people living with SCD is the availability of support groups that allow them to share personal experiences, the challenges they face, coping strategies and in the demystifying of the myths and misconceptions that permeate stigma. Ultimately, the support groups have acted as a platform that offers therapy for individuals living with SCD and sickle cell anemia as well as their families offering practical and realistic solutions and a platform of expression.
With the COVID-19 pandemic making it impossible to conduct physical meetings, parents, care-givers, patients and doctors resulted to a virtual platform to hold their meetings. On the 24th of September the educative and informative session was facilitated by World Friends in partnership with Children Sickle Cell Foundation and Ruaraka Uhai Neema Hospital to offer answers to the frequently asked questions about SCD. The meeting is among the activities within the framework of the “Sickle Cell Anemia: a Pediatric-Hematologic Clinic for Nairobi Slums” founded by Otto per Mille, Chiesa Valdese.
World Friends, Ruaraka Uhai Neema Hospital and Children Sickle Cell Foundation advocate for people affected by sickle cell conditions and empowers community-based organizations to maximize quality of life and raise public consciousness while advancing the research and the program to ensure better care.