Key Facts about Sickle cell disease
- Sickle cell disease (SCD), or sickle cell anaemia, is a major genetic disease that affects most countries in the African Region.
- Blood clots, as a result of sickle cell disease, can cause extreme pain in the back, chest, hands and feet.
- The disrupted blood flow, occurring in sickle cell disease, can also cause damage to bones, muscles and organs.
- People with sickle cell disease often feel weak, tired and look pale. The whites of the eyes and skin often have a yellowish tint.
- Environmental factors often play a role in the occurrence of painful attacks.
- Common triggers include cold temperatures, dehydration, excessive amounts of exercise and tobacco smoke.
- Other triggers such as plane flights and high altitudes can also trigger an attack.
- Poor nutrition is also a factor or trigger, as well as poor health facilities.
- As of 2015 about 4.4 million people were said to have the sickle-cell disease, while an additional 43 million have the sickle-cell trait.
- Around 80% of sickle-cell disease cases are believed to occur in sub-Saharan Africa.
- In 2015, sickle cell disease resulted in about 114,800 deaths.