How much do you know about sickle cell? Do you know it is the most commonly inherited blood condition in the world? How much do you know about the history of sickle cell? Do you know that over 30 years before its Western ‘discovery’ in 1910 a West African medical doctor wrote a publication describing a condition with a ‘constant abnormality of blood which had a peculiar tendency to be prevalent among natives of the Tropics, who then suffered more in the rainy season’? That condition later became known as sickle cell!
The UK Black Community has struggled to raise awareness and achieve better care and equity for families affected by sickle cell disease, which is found most commonly (but not exclusively) in people who originate from Africa, The Caribbean, Middle East, India and The Mediterranean. As part of Southwark Council’s Black History Month 2015 official programme the Sickle Cell Society will put on an innovative event which through film, presentations, discussion, personal stories and performance will celebrate and chart the unique history, legacy and achievements in sickle cell. There will be a special screening of a British – Nigerian DVD drama about the emotional journey one family makes when their baby is born with sickle cell disease. One presentation will feature an inspirational figure in the sickle cell world who himself had sickle cell disease but succeeded in becoming a world renowned Consultant Haematologist looking after patients with sickle cell. People living with sickle cell will talk about achievements in their lives and show that despite living with a debilitating condition, they too are ‘Fit to Achieve’ which is Southwark’s theme for 2015. There will be a panel discussion which will include sickle cell health experts and service users. To round off the evening entertainment will be provided by an individual living with sickle cell disease.
Friday 2nd October, 7.30-10.30pm. The Crypt St Peter’s, Liverpool Grove, London SE17 2HH