During the month of September, the Vedruna Holistic Health Care Centre in Unai, India, has launched an awareness program on sickle cell anemia, a common hereditary disease. This laudable initiative is carried out by Sr. Carmelita de la Caridad Vedruna Lissy Paul, in collaboration with a team of committed health professionals and technicians, such as Minal Tiwari, laboratory technician, Virmati Gamit and Taruna Gamit, health assistants.
What is Sickle Cell Anemia?
Sickle cell anemia is an inherited disease that affects a significant portion of the tribal community in Unai. It is characterized by the production of sickle-shaped red blood cells instead of being round and flexible. These sickle cells can obstruct blood flow, causing pain, organ damage and increasing the risk of infections. Awareness of this disease is essential, because with early detection and proper treatment, the lives of those who suffer from it can be significantly improved.
Awareness and Detection
The main objective of this program is to reach primary school students in public schools in the Unai area. The team of health professionals plans to screen 1,000 students in total. Once screening is completed in a school, a Parent’s Association meeting is convened, where they are informed in detail about sickle cell anemia, its risks and how they can support their children if they are diagnosed with this disease.
In addition, families of affected students receive personalized counseling to better understand the disease and learn how to manage it effectively. This initiative seeks not only early detection, but also to ensure comprehensive support for those already affected by sickle cell disease.
The Sisters of our Indian Province, along with health personnel, are committed to improving the quality of life of the tribal community of Unai, Gujarat, and this screening and awareness program is a crucial step towards that goal. Education and access to medical care are essential to combat this disease and provide a healthier future for generations to come in this region.