The Alpha Chapter of Kappa Psi Psi Healthcare Sorority, Inc. hosted the first sickle cell screening at FAMU during this week’s Set Friday. The screening was in collaboration with the Sickle Cell Foundation, Inc. of Tallahassee.
September is National Sickle Cell Awareness Month.
During the month of September Tallahassee’s Sickle Cell Foundation has hosted numerous events to bring awareness to the not so talked about disease.
“Because it is Sickle Cell Awareness Month, I thought it would be great idea to shed light on sickle cell because it is a disease that is not talked about much,” said KPP seminar chair Keyshauna Bain, a pharmacy student.
Ms. Alpha 2018-2019, health care management student Dyesha McCord participated in the screening in hope of finding out if she carries the trait.
“It does not hurt at all, just a little pinch,” said McCord describing the test’s level of pain.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the sickle cell trait is not a disease. Having the trait means a person has inherited the sickle cell gene from one of his or her parents.
Plenty of students lined up at the KPP table waiting to be tested. Results, however, did not take long to process. Students learned whether or not they carried the trait in about 5 minutes.
Students were only tested for the trait. To get tested for the disease itself, students were encouraged to visit their primary doctor.
According to the American Society of Hematology, National Sickle Cell Awareness Month is to help focus attention on the need for research and treatment of sickle cell disease, an inherited condition that currently affects 70,000-100,000 Americans. The sickle cell disease is more common in certain ethnic groups.
“The sickle cell disease is very prevalent in the African American community. There are a lot of people that do not even know they carry the disease,” said KPP president, Mia Wilburn, a fourth-year pre-physical therapy student.
The American Society of Hematology reports that about 1 in 12 people of African descent, including African Americans, carry a sickle cell gene.
KPP hopes to make the sickle cell screening an annual event to continue to bring awareness to the concealed disease.
The Tallahassee Sickle Cell Foundation, Inc. has more events scheduled throughout the month of September to continue to spread the word on sickle cell disease. Contact the Sickle Cell Foundation, Inc. at firstname.lastname@example.org .