Approximately 5% of the world’s population carries trait genes for haemoglobin disorders, mainly, sickle-cell disease and thalassaemia.
Haemoglobin disorders are genetic blood diseases due to inheritance of mutant haemoglobin genes from both, generally healthy, parents. Over 300 000 babies with severe haemoglobin disorders are born across the world each year.
Sadly in Africa the situation is much worse as it has the highest prevalence rates, with 20 – 30% in countries such as Nigeria, Cameroon, Republic of Congo, Gabon and Ghana. Nigeria alone has record number of a 100 thousand cases a year. The health burden of haemoglobin disorders can be effectively reduced through management and prevention programmes.
These prevention programmes and measures albeit popular are yet to effectively reach rural areas to record impressive results. We are hopeful that with renewed commitment to education and awareness programme on prevention in both rural and urban areas we will see a decline in its prevalence.
Currently, a bone marrow transplant is considered and largely recognized as a curative procedure for sickle cell disease. Anyone considering having one would require a matching stem cell donor.
These statistics gives an insight to the percentage of people considering this procedure and actively looking for donor. In light of the above Safe Haven- A ray of hope team, reaffirms it’s position to remain committed to its cause and calls for more BAME stem cell donors.
To complement prevention and curative efforts in the eradication of sickle cell. Are you between 17-55 years of age and in general good health? You could be Someone’s lifesaver, by becoming a donor! Contact your local donor registry to register as a potential blood stem cell donor. The life you may be saving may be one closer than you think.