- Infections, pain and fatigue are some of the symptoms of sickle cell disease.
- Your child’s doctor should ensure that your child receives all the recommended childhood vaccinations, as well as vaccines against pneumonia, meningitis, hepatitis B and an annual flu shot.
- Vaccines are very important for adults with sickle cell anemia.
Sickle cell anemia has become a non-communicable disease that is now increasingly worrying children and families in Kenya.
With sickle cell disease, an inherited group of disorders, red blood cells contort into a sickle shape. The cells die early, leaving a shortage of healthy red blood cells (sickle cell anemia) and can block blood flow causing pain (sickle cell crisis).
In Kibra slum, the situation is no different for a mother of five, Betrice Anyango Odero, who has spent her life struggling with her sons who have sickle cell disease apart from one.
Betrice Anyango is crying for help after the sickle cell disease attacked her whole family. The mother of five sons, is looking for help to treat two of her sons battling sickle cell disease
The two sons need a bone marrow transplant in the United States of America costing 32 million Kenyan shillings each.
Her first two sons succumbed to the disease in the year 2000 and 2016 on the same sickle cell disease.
Every time she remembers the death of her son, she becomes emotional, she doesn’t know how she could avoid this ordeal when her other sons are in this situation.
Currently the family is in dire need of 32 million Kenya shillings to treat Gregory whose condition has exceeded.
The younger brother is set to be used to save his brother who is 15 years now during the born marrow transplant.
Sickle cell disease can be diagnosed in an unborn baby by sampling some of the fluid surrounding the baby in the mother’s womb (amniotic fluid). If you or your partner has sickle cell anemia or the sickle cell trait, ask your doctor about this screening.
Children with sickle cell anemia might receive penicillin between the ages of about 2 months old until at least age 5 years. Doing so helps prevent infections, such as pneumonia, which can be life-threatening to children with sickle cell anemia.
People may experience pain in the joints and pains can be sudden in the chest. The whole body experiences dizziness, fatigue, low oxygen in or malaise while the urinary system experiences inability to make concentrated or dilute urine and also there are traces of blood in urine.
Also common, hemolytic anemia is experienced, developmental delays, jaundice, pale skin, sausage digit, or shortness of breath.
Treatments might include medications and blood transfusions. For some children and teenagers, a stem cell transplant might cure the disease.
Adults who have sickle cell anemia might need to take penicillin throughout their lives if they’ve had pneumonia or surgery to remove the spleen.
Childhood vaccinations are important for preventing this disease in all children. They’re even more important for children with sickle cell anemia because their infections can be severe.
Your child’s doctor should ensure that your child receives all the recommended childhood vaccinations, as well as vaccines against pneumonia, meningitis, hepatitis B and an annual flu shot. Vaccines are also important for adults with sickle cell anemia.
Betrice’s sons are not the only ones as this disease is common across Kenya, affecting 18 counties, with high disease burden pockets in western, Nyanza and coastal regions.
Sickle cell anemia is a form of the inherited blood disorder, sickle cell disease. Sickle cell anemia changes your red blood cells’ shape, turning round flexible discs into stiff and sticky sickle cells that block blood flow.
Because of the risks associated with a bone marrow transplant, including death, the procedure is recommended only for people, usually children, who have significant symptoms and complications of sickle cell anemia. A stem cell transplant is the only known cure for sickle cell anemia.
Thanks to early detection and new treatments, about half of all people who have sickle cell anemia live into their 50s.