Sickle cell is not a death sentence
by Kofi Ayim
Sickle cell, the hitherto, deadly and diabolical health condition known to primarily affect people of Black an- cestry is no longer a death sentence disease. This affirmation was made by Dr. Nelson Aluya, Assistant Pro-
fessor of Medicine and Pediatrics and a sickle cell management specialist at the New Jersey Medical School, Rut- gers University, Newark, New Jersey, at the 2nd anniversary fund raising gala of the Ga Connection, a Newark, New Jersey based non-profit organi- zation. The Benin City, Nigerian born doctor intimated that the financial, emotional and psychological effects of the disease are probably more pro- nounced and dreadful than the disease itself. He pointed out that because sickle cell is basically genetics-re- lated, stress and other social pressures could induce symptoms of the dis-ease. He therefore called for support from family and friends for people with the disease. Dr. Aluya posited that sickle cell dis- ease, by virtue of it being more of ge- netically related, is not easily contracted. He pointed out that every child born in the U.S. is vigorously tested for sickle cell and/or its traits. He added that the disease causes vari- ous infections and affects many parts of the body, including, but not limited to the spleen and blood flow to the brain. Pain, Dr. Aluya pointed out is a function of sickle cell, especially in children.
The association honored the Mayor of the City of Newark, the Hon. Ras J. Baraka for his diverse initiatives and programs geared to enhance the qual- ity of life in the people of Newark. In
a brief “thank you” Mayor Baraka genuinely heaped praises on the youthful Ga Connection for articulat-ing programs that seek to help and empower its people within the com- munity. Other honorees were Betty Naa Dene Baddoo, Ga Connection Woman of the Year and Oswald Kotei, Ga Connection Man of the Year.