Two of our pupils, Andrew and Rachel, suffer from sickle cell disease, which affects the blood of some African children. It can cause anaemia which leads to terrible pain in the body and sadly often leads to an early death. BUt now we're helping them lead a normal life...
Rachel (6 years old) was diagnosed recently by our local friendly clinic run by a British GP. Now we ensure she receives daily dosage of folic acid to boost blood production in her body. She also joined our nutrition programme, giving her extra fruit, vegetables and carbs to give her the best chance. Even with this intervention, she occasionally becomes very sick and ends up admitted at Joy Hospice.
Andrew (13 years old) is currently in P6 (penultimate year of primary) and hopes to become a civil engineer when he grows up – helping to construct roads and build bridges in Uganda. He comes from a very poor family and was abandoned by his parents – he now stays with his Uncle who also struggles financially. Lately his sickle cell crises have been increasing in frequency and severity, requiring him to be admitted at JOY Hospice several times to be transfused with extra blood. Now we have started him on a drug called Hydroxyurea which should, in the long term, reduce the number of times he has to be transfused. We hope to start Rachel on this medication too.
These drugs cost about £15 per month but we hope that, when Andrew starts his civil engineering job, he’ll be able to pay for them himself!