Sickle cell is a silent condition affecting millions of people worldwide. Although common, there are some misconceptions that negatively affects the way people relate with sicklers and their conditions. These misconceptions have also negatively affected the way some sicklers feel about themselves.
In this post, such misconceptions will be cleared to encourage better understanding of a trying condition.
1. Sickle cell is not a curse but a sickness: For most people in Africa, difficult situations/conditions are more often than not seen as curses whiles good ones are a blessing. Sickle cell is a sickness or a disease that is inherited from biological parents. Your parents have to be sickle cell carriers or sicklers for you to be sickle positive. It is not a curse!
2. Sickle cell is not a death sentence: Another misconception is that people with sickle cell die young. This is not a fact. Some children and young people living with sickle cell have died and some still die from the complications associated with sickle cell like stroke, anaemia, lung and kidney diseases, there are also a lot more sicklers who have lived long and are still growing year by year with sickle cell. How long a person lives with sickle cell can be influenced by a number of things like the level of knowledge of the parents on sickle cell, the management of the condition both at home and in the hospital, the environment in which they live, their health habits, and others. It is highly possible to live long with sickle cell.
3. Sickle cell persons aren not lazy: For a condition whose crisis can be triggered by sheer exhaustion, too much heat or cold, dehydration, and infections, sicklers can never be too careful. Some sickle persons have been tagged as lazy just because they wouldn’t running during physical education class, or play in the rain like other kids, or join in the weeding in school. But people pass these judgements without taking time to understand their plight. Most sicklers experience loneliness from being left out of these activities whether fun or not because of the bonding and feelings of togetherness that it brings. Si the next time you find a sickler sitting out a strenuous activity, or staying indoors during rainy days, just understand they are trying to live.
4. You can marry a sickle cell person: Sickle cell is not a deadly condition. They can marry and if you want to marry one, go right ahead. Just make sure you are sickle negative and your status is AA. Sickle cell people are just normal people who need a little extra love and care. Show then that and you’re good to go!
5. Sickle cell is not infectious: Sickle cell is not infectious but rather they are prone to infections. Being close to a sickler will not make you get sickle cell. But if you have an infectious condition like flu, etc. Please stay away from a sickler. You could make them sick.
Let’s change our attitude towards people with sickle cell. They need the love not the looks.
Spread the word
Let’s make life a little comfortable for them by understanding their condition.
#Sickle cell is real