The wellbeing and welfare of sickle cell patients in Sierra Leone is SCCAN’s primary concern. Therefore we aim to offer a variety of services to meet carers’, individual, family and community needs to enable and empower them to care more effectively. Carers have been doing a significant job in the mist of limitations, despite their lack of adequate knowledge of Sickle Cell Anaemia(SCCAN) SCCAN services include education, counseling,referrals to health care and social services agencies, and emergency financial assistance. We also wish to initiate a nationwide screening programme and provide valuable research into this terrible neglected debilitating disease.
The SCCAN conuselling and education programme is intended to help keep patients and their families informed about Sickle Cell Disease and to respond to diverse questions and concerns that surface during counselling sessions e.g. pain management, life expectancy and quality of life, unemployment, inability to work and poverty, prejudice, intermarriage, causes and management of Sickle Cell Anaemia (SCA), crisis management, transportation needs during crisis, medication and problems with getting drugs. Over the past years in Sierra Leone over 3,194 people have received or accessed our services.
Our target at SCCAN is to introduce a pilot screening project in the short term, followed by the initiation of a long-term screening programme aiming at diagnosing 20 sickle status per day in the district. For as little as £4:00 per patient we can identify possible carriers and refer them for further screening. Once diagnosed and with proper education and management, sufferers can go on to lead and active lives contributing to their communities and reducing their poverty.
Infant and child mortality can be significantly reduced and maternal survival increased. The goals and objectives of SCCAN tie in with Sierra Leone national health strategy and contribute to the Millennium Goals to be achieved internationally by 2015.