By Sean Marshall
Good news for those suffering from sickle cell in the Zambia Republic in South Africa. According to Healthcare inc Boston, the Massachusetts General Hospital's Center for Global Health is helping to fund a sickle cell diagnostic machine to the Whitesides Research Group. It was explained that Whitesides Research Group has been “working on a diagnostic for years and has a prototype that has been tested in both the lab and in Zambia.”
In the article it was stated that The $100,00 given by the Center for Global Health will go towards helping “engineers perfect the prototype, as well as ensure that the prototype functions within a larger manufacturing and shipping process.” It was explained that the machine works by “filtering blood into a solution that is able to parse out cells on their density. Sickle cells are denser then normal red blood cells and sink to the bottom of the solution.”
The whole reason why researchers in Zambie are even doing this is because there are 300,000
newborns each year in sub-Saharan Africa and India. With those high numbers in an area greatly affected by sickle cell disease a machines that can easily test and then diagnose sickle cell could save a lot of lives.
The original article can be found here: http://www.bizjournals.com/boston/blog/health-care/2015/03/mgh-gives-grant-to-low-cost-sickle-cell-diagnostic.html
Other news involved The Bethune-Cookman University’s Odessa Chambliss Center for Health Equity is sponsoring free sickle cell screenings for the community in April and May. This article was produced by The Daytona Times on the 2nd of April and involved the reasons behind why the center has decided to take this particular course of action against sickle cell disease.
The article explained that a “grant received from Volusia County Government will pay for the tests, which will be administered at no cost by nurses from Halifax Health Medical Center.” This grant was revived in January but it wasn't until now that the decision on what to do with the money was made. It was stated that the decision was made based on what would benefit the community the most.
The idea was that id someone knew they has sickle cell, or a sickle cell trait a person would could avoid reproducing with another individual who has sickle cell or the trait and thus cut down on sickle cell disease in the community. Lastly the article pointed out that “if they know they have sickle cell they can Empowering patients to know if they have the trait so when they start dating they can ask the other person ‘Hey, I hate to ask you, but do you have the trait?’ So then they can make the decision (to discontinue the relationship) in the beginning when there aren’t as many feelings involved.”
If you would like to read the original article it can be found here: http://daytonatimes.com/2015/04/b-cu-center-to-provide-free-sickle-cell-screenings-in-april-may/
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