Sickle cell unit hosts Christmas treat

Published: Thursday | December 12, 2013 Comments 0
The Tropical Medicine Research Institute's Sickle Cell Unit, located on the University of the West Indies' Mona campus in Kingston. - Contributed
The Tropical Medicine Research Institute's Sickle Cell Unit, located on the University of the West Indies' Mona campus in Kingston. - Contributed

Tomorrow, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., there will be music, fun and games in the main car park of the Sickle Cell and Epidemiology Research Unit, University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona campus.

After a break of a few years, it is the restart of the treat, and Alphanso Blake Jr, social worker with the Sickle Cell Unit, noted the atmosphere of community and mutual support which a gathering fosters. This is after a summer camp for the children this year.

"From what I observed in the summer camp it is a safe haven," Blake said, adding that many of the children with sickle cell go to public schools, where the environment can be hard for them.

For tomorrow's treat there will be performances by Ra Deal, Mystery Bless and Omar Lucas, a young man with sickle cell who plays the guitar.

DJ Jimmy Q of News Talk FM will play recorded music and there will be face-painting, a dance contest and a clown, among other activities which will appeal to the children. Blake said there will also be a quiz, probing knowledge about sickle cell which would have been learnt during clinic visits.

It is hoped that up to 100 children will be hosted throughout the treat, with the live performances close to midday.

This treat is for children attached to the Kingston clinic; there are others in St Elizabeth (Black River Hospital) and Montego Bay (Cornwall Regional Hospital).

Companies which are supporting the Sickle Cell Unit Children Christmas Treat 2013 are GraceKennedy, Restaurant Associates Ltd, Tastee Patties, EJ's Trading, Scoop Unlimited, LASCO Ltd, Prestige, and Honeybun Ltd.

In addition, Blake pointed out, staff members at the clinic and other individuals have made cash donations.

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