History Of Sickle-Cell
Sickle cell anemia was the first diagnosed disease that was linked to the hemoglobin protein and genetically characterized. In 1910 Sickle cell disease was first characterized when Dr. B. Herrick wrote a report about a patient who suffered from a "strange disease" including such symptoms as asthmatic conditions and blood flow problems including body ulcers (Linde, 1972). The study led to the locating of a new sickle cell hemoglobin (HbS) that was predicted in the 1940’s by Linus Pauling (Johnson, 1984). Three researchers discovered that HbS had a lower solubility than normal hemoglobin: Pertuz and Mitchson examined HbS solubility and Harris "observed spindle shaped liquid crystals" that formed in the de-oxygenated hemoglobin (Johnson, 1984). Linus Pauling again hypothesized on the nature of HbS and its role in sickle cell anemia in 1952 by saying that the HbS proteins may act differently from regular hemoglobin (HbA) Rods or Helix Structure in Electron microscope and models, Edelstein, 1986: p 118and stack together. Pauling’s new hypothesis together with the old stated that the sickling of the cells in sickle cell anemia may be due to the formation of "rods" by the hemoglobin and thus "sickle" the cell (Johnson, 1984 ). From these hypothesizes and experiments a physical understanding of sickle cell disease was formed although no effective cures had been found. The physical mapping of the hemoglobin protein for every amino acid allowed it to be one of the first human genetic diseases to be characterized genetically. The difference between HbA hemoglobin and HbS hemoglobin is a one base pair difference, a transversion of A to T in the beta -globin gene. This transversion at the sixth codon leads to a change in a hydrophobic amino acid to a hydrophilic amino acid with very different physical properties and an overall change in the Picture of Sickle Cell Anemic Red Blood Cell with rod like formations, Edelstein, 1986: p 117hemoglobin structure and red blood cell function. Even with these physical and genetic clues that have been around for decades cures and treatments of sickle cell anemia are barely touched on. New methods are being developed now using the genetical advances of today to change the research field of sickle cell anemia, but why has the development of these treatments taken so long?
During the later end of my final year in Senior High School, I suffered severe tympanic membrane disoder.I was determined to undergo a surgery no matter the accompanying circumstances. I dreaded to be given names I sometimes couldn't actually relate to my life.I sometimes wonder why I'm always found ill and suffering from all kinds of diseases and nobody actually understood me.I was then supposed to carry out some tests a week to my surgery and i was devastated by the results."Are you a sickling?",Mrs Aidoo asked.My eyes were wide opened and couldn't believe what came out of her mouth.I took away the results from her hands and to see it with my own very eyes.How can this be possible? Pool of tears started dropping like river jordan.At that particular moment,my head began to ache.In fact I was very confused at that moment.I wanted to sleep and never experience the brightness of the day anymore.I became so dead-alive.Am I not supposed to be the only child of my parents? How did it happen?And When?This was some few questions going around my mind at that particular moment.
I began to reflect some incidence in my life and got some answers which never occurred to me.I remember once my science teacher told me I was a sickler just by a mere look on my face and I got offended.I also remember once my mother told me I felt sick when I was 6 months old and the doctor gave her some test results which she never bothered to read. I sometimes suffered from some crisis and my family never understood why they were wasting so much money on my medications, and with time I was no longer sent to the hospital.I even got used to the fact that no one cares about how I feel or how my health is going until there are complications which are sometimes ignored. Every step that I take in life was more complicated.But I Sat down and told myself that I will not let this illness bring me down but rather go on to inspire others, increase the awareness of the disease and ultimately put a smile on another person's face.
Despite public perception, Sickle Cell Disease still exist and continues to devastate the lives of so many individuals and their families.Education and public information are the most effective tools for increasing awareness of sickle cell disease.With television news and radio waves flooded around popular health issues, sickle cell disease is has been ultimately placed on the back burner.The fact is, the disease was identified in 1910 and yet many people still do not know enough about its origins and incidence rate. Unfortunately, the less privileged suffer the most sometimes due to negligence or they are not aware of their status. This increases the deaths with sickle cell each year which is quite alarming.The issue of sickle cell is ever present in most communities across the country and in Africa as a whole. While the Charis Foundation’s primarily service is to help the less privileged sicklings, it is also committed to educating and increasing awareness throughout the country.Requests for services throughout the country would elevate the organization from a community -based operation to a statewide agency, committed to meet the needs of each community.Our cause is not limited to a particular region as sickle cell disease does not limit itself to a particular region.Sickle Cell Disease knows no boundaries.With increasing numbers, this disease is affecting individuals and families from various ethnic, economic and geographical backgrounds. Our purpose will be ongoing and our need will be ever present.As long as babies continue to be born with sickle cell disease and sickle cell traits, there will be a need for our services. Until there’s cure, we will continue to serve.