IAssist is working with Sickle Cell & Thalassaemia Ireland is to fight the growth of SCD and Thalassaemia in Ireland and create a proper support network between the patients, the community and the health professionals, to implement proper awareness programmes that will promote a better understanding of Sickle Cell and Thalassaemia: a key factor to quality treatment, improved patient support and research for a cure.
For many years Sickle Cell patients and their families suffered in silence. The absence of a support network and fears of stigmatisation from within their own community were very isolating. Patients experienced relative ignorance about the disease among healthcare providers, politicians and the public, in particular, at the point of care. A lack of information about therapies and limited support for disease management after hospitalisation meant most patients had to struggle alone.
Many of the beneficiaries of the services are people from the target groups which include Africa and the Caribbean, Asia, western Europe and many Irish families due to intermarriage
What Is Sickle Cell Disease?
Sickle cell disease is an inherited blood disorder that affects red blood cells. People with sickle cell disease have red blood cells that contain mostly haemoglobin S, an abnormal type of haemoglobin. Sometimes these red blood cells become sickle-shaped (crescent-shaped) and have difficulty passing through small blood vessels. When sickle-shaped cells block small blood vessels, less blood can reach that part of the body. Tissue that does not receive normal blood flow eventually becomes damaged. This is what causes the complications of sickle cell disease. There is currently no universal cure for sickle cell disease.
Read more on Sickle Cell at Sickle Cell & Thalassaemia Ireland