Sickle cell disease is a blood disorder usually passed down from parent to child. People with sickle cell disease have abnormal hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen to the body.
In an adult red blood cells can live up to 120 days before they wear off or die, but in a sickle cell patients it takes about 10 to 20 days. It takes a shorter time. This is the cause of the anemia in sickle cell. There is also jaundice due to the excessive breakdown of the red blood cells. The cells that are sickle shaped can stick to each other occlude vessels and cause crises, pain and also reduce blood flow to certain organs. Symptoms depend on the organ affected.
Before pregnancy/marriage… Go for #genetic counseling you and your spouse. It’s best if both of you do not carry the gene. If both couples carry a trait the likelihood of having offspring with sickle cell is high. People can either be carriers, sickle cell or Non carriers. Your doctor will explain more what it means to be AA-no trait , AS&AC – trait/ carrier’s , SS&SC-sickle cell disease.,among others. Based on his/her findings he will counsel couple so they can make an informed decision.
Women with sickle cell disease can get pregnant but should make sure they are fit. They should they go for preconception care where the doctor confirms they are fit. If there is a defeciency it is corrected first and all infections treated as well. It’s advisable for them to take a form of contraception to avoid unplanned pregnancy.
During pregnancy you will need close monitoring. Take prescribed medications, rest exercise. Enough fluids and avoid stress. Foods rich in iron, vitamins and protein in recommended. Report to the hospital immediately you feel sick. Prompt treatment is essential. Regular antenatal visits is beneficial.
Delivery should be in a #hospital with specialized care and monitoring. Plan your delivery together with your midwife and as well cooperate with her.
After #birth continue to take your prescribed medication and rest. Let people help you.More fluids, go for follow up clinics
They need support from relatives and spouses to stay healthy. It is not a communicable disease and can be managed with close monitoring and dedicated medical staffs. In case there is crises send client to the nearest facility as soon as possible.
Midwives in the periphery compound should refer clients to hospitals for specialized antenatal care. They should as well be handed over to community health workers for home visits and other support they may need.
If you already in the marriage/relationship you can still go for counseling if both couples are carriers or one has sickle cell. Children with sickle cell have specialized clinics in most hospitals and can be managed effectively. Thanks. Kindly #SHARE