Emirates Society of Haematology organizes national Sickle Cell awareness campaign

Emirates Society of Haematology announcing the launch of the national Sickle Cell awareness campaign to increase public knowledge about the debilitating disease. The spirit of the campaign was to shed light on SCD and its symptoms and address the misconceptions with expert knowledge, highlight the treatment options from specialized doctors, to encourage patients to get an early diagnosis, as well as lend support to those with the ailment.

  • Sickle Cell Disease (SCD), a genetic disorder that affects the body’s red blood cells, has continued to be a major global public health issue and one of the world’s leading genetic disorders. Knowledge of the lifelong condition is very low despite it being the second most common beta-globin gene defect in the UAE
  • It has a high fatality rate among infants and children in the developing world, where an estimated 50–90% of infants born with SCD do not make it to their fifth birthday. Globally, it is forecasted that there will be a 30% growth in the number of people with SCD by 2050.
  • Dr. Asma Sultan Al Olama, President, Emirates Society of Haematology along with Dr. Mozah Al Marshoodi, Consultant Physician & Clinical Fellowship in Consultive Hematology, Emirates Society of Haematology; Prof. Salam Al Kindi, Professor & Senior Consultant Hematologist at Sultan Qaboos University Hospital, Oman; Dr. Jaafar Al Touk, Consultant Hematologist at Hereditary Blood Disorder Center, Ministry of Health Bahrain and SCD Team Leader at Bahrain MOH; Dr. Anwar Kadhim Saeed Ali, Consultant Psychiatrist, Hereditary Blood Disorder Center, Ministry of Health, Bahrain and Zakariya Al Kadhem, Chairman of the Bahrain Sickle Cell Society shed light on the cause and symptoms of the disease, its prevalence in the UAE as well as how it affects patients and their family members
  • At the core of the awareness drive, Dr. Mozah Al Marshoodi, Consultant Physician & Clinical Fellowship in Consultive Hematology, member of Emirates Society of Haematology said “The sickle cell (HbS) gene occurs at a variable frequency in the Middle Eastern Arab countries. In the last couple of years, genetic diseases such as SCD has constituted a significant cause of chronic health problems, morbidity and mortality and hence are a major burden on health care systems. The lack of effective disease prevention and awareness programmes can be constituted as one of the primary reasons for the high prevalence. Improved education programs for individuals, health-care providers, premarital screening, prenatal and neonatal diagnosis, coupled with early preventive care and treatment of disease can prove to be an extremely beneficial step in creating a plan to eradicate this disease with the help of medical experts, government and patient-advocacy groups.”

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