September is regarded as Sickle Cell Awareness month!
It is mostly celebrated in the United States through NGOs and various charities championing the cause for greater sickle cell disease awareness, education, and research.
This year, the Sickle Cell Cares Foundation is continuing its mission to engage the wider Dominican public through public sector partnerships and youth development.
Firstly, the Dominica State College Sickle Cell Club scheme hosted a T-Shirt Design Competition. This ran from the 14th of June until the 10th of July.
A total of 13 entries were submitted, of which the top three with the most likes would get a prize.
Competition rules indicated that:
Participants had to either create a back or breast print design in which they incorporated the colors red,
include a fact about sickle cell, and
incorporate the foundation’s motto ‘Non-Sibi Sed Omnibus’(not for one but for all).
According to a press release, the submissions were posted to the foundation’s Instagram page, and followers were asked to vote on their preferred design. The design with the most likes was to become victorious. Prizes for first, second, and third place were awarded.
1st Place: 17yr old Jemima Mills – Prize awarded, $200 EC and a voucher from Bunny’s Cakes & Catering; 2nd place: 17-year-old Josmyne Flossiac – Prize awarded, $200EC and $30 Digicel top-up; 3rd place: 18-year-old Zinielle Vital – Prize awarded: $100EC and $30 Digicel top-up.
The awards were presented on September 11th, 2020.
Meanwhile, the Sickle Cell Cares Foundation is continuing to recognize September as Sickle Cell Awareness month by hosting a free sickle cell clinic for all those affected in Dominica. This clinic is being organized in collaboration with the Primary Healthcare Department of the Ministry of Health.
The SCCF will be conducting training sessions with health care professionals of Dominica.
This training will share and discuss international protocols for the care of patients afflicted with sickle cell disease. This training will be conducted in partnership with the Sickle Cell Unit of the Caribbean Institute for Health and Research of the University of the West Indies in Jamaica, and the Caribbean Network of Researchers on Sickle Cell Disease and Thalassemia.
This training hopes to elaborate on current research and technologies available to care and manage sickle cell disease. With improvements in care protocols, we hope to realize decreased chronic disease burden on the healthcare system of Dominica and improvements in the quality of life of all those affected.