August 18, 2022

World Sickle Cell Day was June 19 and celebrated in Cayman Islands

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The Cayman Islands again joined with the United Nations in recognising June 19 as World Sickle Cell Day. Since 2009, this day has been recognised to help in raising awareness of sickle cell disease as a public health concern.

While screening for sickle cell disease has been in place in the Cayman Islands since the early 1970s for high risk families, and since the 1980s for school entry screening, routine newborn screening has been in place since 1997. This has helped in early identification of sickle cell trait and disease with appropriate counselling and management.

“It is important to test for sickle cell trait as this information can help parents make informed reproductive choices,” said Joy Merren, genetics coordinator at the Health Services Authority. “If someone has sickle cell trait, it is important to know if one’s partner is also a carrier. If both parents are sickle cell carriers, then with each pregnancy, there is a 25 per cent risk of having a child with sickle cell disease. While sickle cell trait is mild, sickle cell disease is serious.”

At present, there are 47 persons with sickle cell disease known to the Public Health Department. Sickle cell disease is a chronic disorder. In the Cayman Islands, there are facilities to diagnose sickle cell disease and to manage it.

A sickle cell support group meets four times a year. Patients and families receive information on management of the disorder as well as support. The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, 22 June, 2017 at 7.30 p.m. at the Public Health Waiting Room. All are invited.

For further information, please contact Joy Merren, genetics coordinator, on 244-2630 at the Public Health Department or email at [email protected].

See today’s Editorial “What is Sickle Cell Disease?”

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  1. […] Source: Cayman Eye News The Cayman Islands again joined with the United Nations in recognising June 19 as World Sickle Cell Day. Since 2009, this day has been recognised to help in raising awareness of sickle cell disease as a public health concern. While screening for sickle cell disease has been in place in… Link: World Sickle Cell Day was June 19 and celebrated in Cayman Islands […]

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