Saturday, January 26, 2013

Sickle Cell Disease In Ireland

In 2001, the National Children's Hospital in Tallaght, Ireland published a abstract review of sickle cell disease in the Irish Journal of Medical Science. After reviewing patients with haemoglobinopathy (genetic defect of the blood's haemoglogin) their conclusion was: "The increasing number of children presenting with SCD as a result of the increasing refugee numbers requires a comprehensive care approach similar to that required for paediatric haemophilia to ensure optimum care."

That was in 2001. It is now 2013 and the world is a much smaller place with migration & immigration not uncommon in many countries.

In 2009, Irish Medical Times wrote an article"Explosion of sickle cell disease could mean early deaths," they wrote, "There are currently more than 400 children with SCD in Ireland (up from 12 in 2000)."

This was in 2009. If we do the math, in Ireland from 2000-2009 there was a 3,333.00% increase in the number of children diagnosed with sickle cell disease.

In the same Irish Medical Times article, Dr. McMahon, haematologist at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital in Crumlin, said "There is no service for adults with SCD and neither is there structured funding for children with the disease. “If we don’t get our act together, we’ll have adults dying at age 40 or 45.”

The article further states, "A vulnerable population cannot make noise, and parents of children with SCD have been scared of being deported."


To add insult to injury, in 2011 The Irish Times wrote an article, "Stigma is a 'curse' on sickle cell disease." ******Stigma is defined as a badge of shame.***** So, now we have pain, suffering AND stigma for children and adults living with sickle cell disease in Ireland. 

It's now 2013, somebody please tell me that Ireland has turned things around and are now addressing the issues that Dr. McMahon described.

She said, “With treatment, patients can go on to lead happy, fruitful lives. Without treatment, it can be a drain on the State until these people die at age 60. This doesn’t need to happen.”

I HEAR YOU Dr. McMahon and people living with sickle cell disease in Ireland. I wonder if the medical community & political leadership in Ireland are hearing you too??????

Check out Ireland Sickle Cell Fund forming in Ireland. Launch Day May 2013.

Irish Journal of Medical Science (article archived by US National Institute of Health)
Irish Medical Times
The Irish Times

1 comment:

  1. The Irish Gov't need to make a public educational policy on awareness, research, screening and support for sickle cell disease. Thank you Miss jones for this article and your support.