Hey warriors and supporters!
First and foremost, I would love to welcome you if you are new to the blog, it’s nice to have you all here. I am super excited to get to know you more through comments, messages and support.
So, a follow-up post was needed for that last post, which was very abrupt and short btw (sorry I wrote that on my way to work), but I do hope you all found my article insightful, maybe opened your eyes to some things you never gave much thought to. I enjoyed the feedbacks and the comments, please keep them coming, let the conversation continue as you share . And if you have any experiences or stories to share please do so.
Speaking of comments, one of the comments on the article really struck me, see excerpt below
Do not accuse people of being ignorant even if educated. My dear this is how the world rolls. You care for things that directly affects you. Someone in my family was diagnosed of SCLERODERMA, I am sure most people have not heard of it, and I will not blame them for their ignorance…
Although I replied to this comment already, I feel there is something significant about what was said; there is STILL a misunderstanding of why this is a big deal, or why it should be a big deal. Well, it should…
When the ratios of affected individuals in an entire population is significantly high, then it should be enough reason to be alarmed and tackle the issue before it escalates even further. In no way am I trying to belittle any the other chronic disease or illness, BUT there is an urgency here, priority if you may. Sickle cell is claiming way too many lives which btw is so reversable overtime, if only we drive the education and awareness wagon hard! I see that the Nigerian government, corporations and public in general drives the Malaria truck hard, and I love that. I love it because it is tied to Sickle cell in ways most people are not even aware of.
To protect the red blood cells from self destruct from infection from the malaria parasites, the body thought hmm let me protect myself, so it mutated its DNA to cause the blood to sickle. Hence providing protection from the malaria parasites that could invade the blood cells, causing the red blood cells to burst and lose ability their abilities to carry oxygen. That is where the sickle cell gene originated from, but only one copy of the gene (genotype AS) is beneficial in warding off the parasite. It allowed these people with a single copy of the gene (AS/Carriers) to survive malaria infection, and pass on the immunity gene to offsprings. You will notice that a lot of people (roughly 60% of the population actually) are carriers of the sickle cell gene in Nigeria. Because of this high populace, and lack of educated/understanding/awareness backfires and kill the purpose of the sickle cell gene. So what is happening is there is a high volume of carriers (genotype AS) marrying other carriers, which then results in offsprings with the full blown sickle cell disease. And that cycle continued… till further notice because with warriors fighting tirelessly to bring awareness and education, I am hopeful that SCD will be a thing of the past – maybe not in my lifetime but one day! “I have a dream”