Wed | Aug 4, 2021

Sickle cell coordinators to monitor paediatric patients

Published:Wednesday | June 16, 2021 | 9:47 AM
National Coordinator for the Sickle Cell Programme at the Ministry of Health and Wellness Dr Carol Lord – Contributed photo.

The Ministry of Health and Wellness will be placing sickle cell coordinators at public health facilities across Jamaica who will be charged with providing support for paediatric patients.

National Coordinator for the Sickle Cell Programme at the Ministry Dr Carol Lord told JIS News that the coordinators have been identified and that they will be working with babies and children who have been diagnosed with the disease.

She noted that the coordinators will have responsibility for monitoring the patients when they leave the hospital, through telephone calls or working with the community health aides.

The monitoring is to ensure that they are taking their medication and accessing regular healthcare.

Lord noted that persons with sickle cell disease should register with the National Health Fund (NHF) to access medication at reduced costs.

She noted that the entity plans to include additional drugs to treat the various complications associated with the illness.

The Ministry of Health is observing Sickle Cell Week from June 13 to June 19. 

Also during the week, the Ministry, in collaboration with the Sickle Cell Support Foundation of Jamaica, will be posting several messages on sickle cell on social media platforms.

Sickle cell disease or sickle cell anaemia is a recessive genetic blood disorder, which comes as a result of inheriting abnormal haemoglobin genes from both parents.

It is characterised by the red blood cells assuming an abnormal, rigid, sickle shape.

Sickling decreases the flexibility of cells, blocking blood flow in the blood vessels in the limbs and organs, which can cause pain, serious infections, and organ damage.

- JIS News

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