Thursday, June 20, 2013

Do You Know Your Genotype?

Yesterday was The World Sickle Cell Day. 19th June is set aside to celebrate The World Sickle Cell Day. If I am right, ir was the third celebration of World Sickle Cell Day. Before I go further, I will like to give a belated shout out to all my Warriors out there.

HIP! HIP!! HIP!!! HURRAY!!! It is not easy fighting this scourge called Sickle Cell. Imagine living with pain every so often and you still find the courage to go about your day normally, putting up smiles on your faces. Kudos to all Warriors out there. NEVER NEVER GIVE UP.

Sickle cell disease changes normal, round red blood cells into cells that can be shaped like crescent moons. The name "sickle cell" comes from the crescent shape of the cells. A sickle is a farm tool with a curved blade that can cut crops like wheat.
Normal red blood cells move easily through your blood vessels, taking oxygen to every part of your body. But sickled cells can get stuck and block blood vessels, which stops the oxygen from getting through. That can cause a lot of pain. It can also harm organs, muscles, and bones. Many people carry one haemoglobin S gene (sickle-cell trait) with no significant health problems because the A gene protects them. But these carriers of the sickle-cell gene can pass the gene to their children. When both parents are carriers, they have a one in four chance with every pregnancy of having a child with sickle-cell anaemia.

This disease is more prevalant amongst those from tropical countries and most especially people of african origin. World Health Organization reports estimate that more than 300,000 children are born with the disease each year world-wide.

For those of you who are not married I want to remind you to do blood tests to be ascertain your genotype and that of your potential spouse. Testing is very important because many people just asume they do not carry the "S" gene. With the right education about sickle cell disease, many people who carry the SS gene will live a long and healthy life but we will all agree prevention is much better than cure. KNOW YOUR GENOTYPE BEFORE MARRIAGE! 

Stay Blessed 

By Ijeoma Olujekun

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