World Sickle Cell Day
19 Jun 2021

World Sickle Cell Day
World Sickle Cell Day

The 19th June is World Sickle Cell Day – a day of raising awareness!

World Sickle Cell Day is a United Nation’s recognised day to raise awareness of sickle cell at a national and international level. On 22nd December 2008, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution that recognises sickle cell disease as a public health problem and “one of the world’s foremost genetic diseases.” The resolution calls for members to raise awareness of sickle cell on June 19th of each year at national and international level.

What is Sickle Cell (SCD)?
Sickle cell disorders are a group of illnesses which affect your red blood cells. Sickle cell is a genetic condition, which means it is passed on from your parents and you are born with it; you cannot catch it from other people.

Sickle cell disorders causes your normally round and flexible blood cells to become stiff and sickle shaped, stopping the blood cells, and the oxygen they carry, from being able to move freely around the body and causing pain. This can cause  episodes of severe pain. These painful episodes are referred to as sickle cell crisis. They are treated with strong painkillers such as morphine to control the pain.

People with sickle cell are also at risk of complications stroke, acute chest syndrome, blindness, bone damage and priapism (a persistent, painful erection of the penis).

Over time people with sickle cell can experience damage to organs such as the liver, kidney, lungs, heart and spleen. Death can also result from complications of the disorder. Treatment of sickle cell mostly focuses on preventing and treating complications.

Wear Red for World Sickle Cell Day

Every year we see lots of people posting pictures of themselves wearing red to help raise awareness on World Sickle Cell Day, so this year we wanted to get involved!

Where ever you are, and whoever you are with, put on your red clothes and join with us in raising awareness.

Share the message even further by taking a photo and posting in on social media. Be sure to tag us in your post @SickleCellUK on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

Wearing red is a great starting place for conversations about sickle cell and can be a great entryway into raising awareness!

Want to know some quick-fire facts about sickle cell to share with friends your friends and family? Check out our ‘Did You Know?’ facts higher up this page. 

NEED TO KNOW: World Sickle Cell Day takes place on Saturday 19 June 2021 | Find Out More