World Sickle Cell Awareness Day is June 19th. The General Assembly of the United Nations adopted a resolution on June 19, 2008 recognizing sickle-cell disease as a public health concern. World Sickle Cell Awareness Day provides an opportunity to increase understanding of Sickle Cell Disease and how it affects individuals and families worldwide.
Sickle Cell Disease is one of the most common inherited blood disorders affecting 70,000 to 80,000 Americans and millions of people world-wide.
Sickle Cell Disease is common among people whose ancestors come from Africa; Mediterranean countries such as Greece, Turkey, and Italy; the Arabian Peninsula; India; and Spanish-speaking regions in South America, Central America, and parts of the Caribbean.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has estimated that Sickle Cell Disease contributes to 5% of the deaths of children younger than 5 years of age in some African countries. While an increasing proportion of affected children now survive past 5 years of age, many remain at risk of premature death. With early detection and use of public health interventions such as penicillin, many of these deaths can be prevented. Additionally, the burden of this disease can be reduced with increased global resources and effective partnerships. Your help is needed in the education and spreading awareness of Sickle Cell Disease.