Sickle Cell Disease Awareness Month- September
Dating back to 1975, the United States of America is the first country to observe September as Sickle Cell Awareness Month, though many more countries are now following this trend recognizing September as the Sickle Cell Awareness Month.
In Canada, even though September is not enacted as the Sickle Cell Awareness Month, yet, many SCD organizations including the Sickle Cell Awareness Group of Ontario (SCAGO) utilize the month to raise the profile of the disease.
To celebrate September, the SCAGO organizes action days at Queens’ Park which has helped to improve disease visibility among Ontario policymakers
The organization also rolls out knowledge translation educational activities among care providers, to improve their disease knowledge and reduce stigma and systemic racism experienced by affected individuals seeking medical care in Ontario hospitals.
Furthermore, through its disease management mechanism, the SCAGO takes advantage of the awareness month to improve the disease management skills set of individuals, their families, and caregivers with SCD disease. This, as we know, has over the years resulted in their improved physical and mental health well-being.
What is an awareness month without public outreach? The SCAGO capitalizes on the month of September to support public education and raise more awareness of sickle cell trait (one form of the gene) in order to reduce the number of new sickle cell births based on ignorance.
Given the new norm of the virtual way of doing things due to COVID-19, SCAGO has further extended its patients and caregivers’ educational and awareness programs to the global SCD community by encouraging patients and caregivers to tap into its webinars as well as share their SCD stories no matter where they live. After all, the world is a global village, and sickle cell disease, a global public concern. Happy Sickle Cell Disease Awareness Month
Use #SickleCellAwarenessMonth to share your story and follow on social media.