By Mustapha Jarju
As part of the Sickle cell awareness program, the Sickle Cell Association visited Tankularr village in the Western division of the Kiang Lower River Region over the weekend.
It is believed that the highest number of Sickle Cell patients in the Gambia is registered in this part of the country prompting the association to visit the village to sensitize villagers on how to mitigate and put measures against the disease.
The Sickle Cell expert mainly from MRC and RVTH took time to speak to the people of Tankularr and discussed the symptoms of the disease.
Speaking to the people of Tankularr Mr. Alieu Sambou, President of the Association expressed delight in visiting the village and sharing relevant information regarding the Sickle Cell disease.
Mr. Sambou expressed his disappointment and was shocked that there is no health facility nearby apart from MRC which is in Keneba.
“This disease can be too serious especially when you have an attack, this needs an immediate check-up from a doctor.
What will happen if you have to travel Kilometers to a health facility,” he asked.
Sambou promised to convey the message to the Government through the health ministry to inform them about how important it is for Tankularr to have a health facility.
“Every month over a hundred thousand kids are born with Sickle Cell and almost half a million people die of the disease every year “.
The president of the Sickle Cell Association also assured the patients that there is no need to panic and advised them to be visiting the health center frequently and take their medications as advised by doctors.
Modou Bella Jallow and Dr. Masering Njie both advised that both males and females should see a doctor for advice before getting married.
They said it’s important for one to do a test to see if your partner is compatible for marriage. They said most Sickle Cell disease is caused by intermarriage among very close family members.