Good morning and how was your night ? I have heard a group of both educated and uneducated persons discuss sickle cell anemia with baited breathe. They usually discuss a whole lot of issues ranging from the importance of doing a genotype test before marriage, how to take care of a sickler child, how to boost the blood level of a sicker, the inheritance of SS gene, to the problems of sickle cell anemia, the cost burden of raising a “sickler” is expensive and the life span of sickle. Others have heard is that sickle cell anemia is only found in black people and it is a disease of blackness. Some say sickle cell disease is contagious and pregnant women should stay away from sufferers. Others believe it is not curable. There is another common belief that sicklers are immune or protected from malaria attack.
What strikes me in these discussions is the lifespan of a sickler. Most of these people surprising have usually pegged the lifespan of sickle cell sufferers at 21 years. Many believe sicklers don’t live to adulthood. Some even say if a sicker does not die at 21 years, he or she will not die again till old age. I realized it is a common belief that has taken hold of the minds of people across the world especially in Africa.
But how true is this common belief?
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