Myths and Truths



Only the Black Minority Ethnic population gets Sickle Cell Disease



Sickle Cell is a disease that affects people of all different cultural and ethnic backgrounds, including African, Arabian, Israeli, Greek, Italian, Hispanic, Turkish, and Pakistani.

Contrary to popular believe, it is entirely possible for a blond-haired, blue-eyed child of Northern European extraction to have Sickle Cell disease. For this reason, in all UK hospitals, all ethnic backgrounds now are screened at birth for the type of haemoglobin responsible for causing Sickle Cell disease.

Sickle Cell is not contagious. It’s strictly an inherited disease, and only people who are born with this genetic defect can develop it.

Everything you need to know


Regular medical checkups and treatment are also important. Checkups may include tests for possible kidney, lung, and liver diseases. See a sickle cell anaemia expert regularly. Also, see an eye doctor regularly to check for damage to your eyes.

Learn the signs and symptoms of a stroke. They include a lasting headache, weakness on one side of the body, limping, and sudden changes in speech, vision, or hearing. If you have any of these symptoms, report them to your doctor promptly.

Get treatment and control any other medical conditions you have, such as diabetes or kidney problems.

Talk to your doctor if you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant. You will need special prenatal care. Sickle cell anaemia can worsen during pregnancy. Women who have sickle cell anaemia also are at an increased risk for an early birth or a low-birth-weight baby. However, with early prenatal care and frequent checkups, you can have a healthy pregnancy.