Sickle Cell Awareness day was created by the United Nations to recognise Sickle Cell Disease as a global health crisis.
Member states were urged to raise awareness of this terrible genetic disease on June 19 each year.
At yesterday's weekly UK/Nigeria Dadamac team meeting, John explained that a SCD support meeting had been held at Fantsuam last Saturday . A documentary in collaboration with the Abuja SC Support group is being prepared for showing on this year's Global SC Day.
Those interested can view my previous blog entry about the daunting task faced by John and his team, who are battling overwhelming need with severely limited resources.
The Fantsuam Sickle Cell Support Group meeting is held on the third Saturday of every month. Support groups are usually comprised of people who have either been affected or are carers. Attendance is growing each month - with more than 80 people at last Saturday's meeting.
Due to the vast numbers there is a need to change the venue, so canopies under mango trees at the fishfarm will be used for future meetings. Attendees came from as far away as Akwanga (about 80km from Kafanchan) and John said he " just felt helpless in face of such need."
The meetings are for networking, with parents and carers sharing information about how they are coping. A nurse councellor answers questions and gives advice on how to cope with sickling crisies.
Refreshments and biscuits are served. The Health clinic has only one bed for those worst affected. Here basic - but vital - medical support can be given in the form of rest, rehydration (via dextrose saline intravenous infusion), folic acid and simple analgesia.
Dadamac Foundation is very happy to support Fantsaum Foundation's work tackling Sickle Cell Disease by making available its online structures.
Should you wish to make a donation , please click here. If you are a health professional or have any knowledge or expertise in this field - or just a burning desire to help, please add a comment or email me.