South Londoners Learn About Sickle Cell Anaemia

Brixton, Christian faith, sickle cell anaemia,

Wednesday 30th October 2013

Eighty people from across south London attended a briefing on Sickle Cell Anaemia at the UCKG HelpCentre, 386 Brixton Road on Saturday October 26th.  Their aim was to gain a better understanding of this debilitating condition and do away with any misconceptions and superstitions they may have had about the disorder.

The event was a collaboration between the Croydon Sickle Cell & Thalassaemia Support Group (CSCATS) and the UCKG HelpCentre itself. The guest speaker, Alice Allison, chair of CSCATS, was introduced by Penelope Bohui, leader of the UCKG HelpCentre’s Patient Care Group in Brixton.

Alice Allison‘s presentation centered on a DVD, The Family Legacy, which explores the impact that the birth of a child with sickle cell disease has on four generations of the same family and what the baby will mean for each of them.

The audience, which ranged in age from teenagers to mature adults and included people of Jamaican, Angolan, Sierra Leonean and Portuguese descent, gained a clearer understanding of how the condition can affect families and the importance of screening.

Many used the question and answer session towards the end of the briefing to further clarify their thinking as exemplified by Barbara Wiliams from Streatham who said: “Many of my doubts and superstitions have been removed by me coming to this event today”.

Talisa Wallace of Southwark added:: “I now understand the importance of screening for sickle cell, and I plan to get it done now”.

Sickle cell disease is an inherited blood condition that affects the shape of victims’ red blood cells and can result in severe pain, mostly in the joints (thalassaemia is another genetic blood disorder).  It cannot be caught from someone who has the condition.

It is widely believed that people of African and Caribbean descent are more often affected by sickle cell anaemia than other ethnicities. In fact, anyone can inherit the disorder, and particularly those from Arab countries, Greece, Turkey, Israel, Italy, the Iberian Peninsula and Pakistan.

ENDS

Notes to editors

UCKG is a Christian church and registered charity that offers a range of practical support activities alongside spiritual support and comfort and welcomes all-comers. It reached the UK in 1995 and has gone from strength to strength, providing support and spreading the Christian faith. There are UCKG HelpCentre branches in England and Wales.

Patient Care Group is a community support group of generous minded volunteers from the UCKG HelpCentre who are available to lessen the burden of illness on patients and their families by extending the hand of friendship to them. These make regular visits to patients in hospitals, hospices, nursing homes or their own homes and will also be there for the patients’ families if required.

For further information please contact the UCKG HelpCentre Press Officer via e-mail on press@uckgnew.org or direct line 020 7686 6033.

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