VOF 6: TRAINING PLAN: An Introduction to Sickle Cell Care & Management

ARREY- ECHI
Posted April 10, 2016 from Cameroon
Normal red blood cells and sickled red blood cells from which SCD derived its name. Credit: Examiner.com

When it comes to dealing with an unknown ‘enemy’, knowledge is always the best defence’

BACKGROUND

Sickle Cell Disease is a genetic blood disorder that affects people of predominantly African, African American, Caribbean, Middle East and Asian Communities. Nigeria, with the largest population of blacks in the world is said to have the highest number of people born and living with sickle cell disease. In Cameroon, the exact percentage of people living with Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is not very clear though it is estimated to be about 2%. Due to the absence of this important information, SCD receives very little attention as a public health concern, though some doctors involved in the study and research of the condition and some individuals are working to change that. As a result of this huge gap, knowledge in care and management of the disease is sorely lacking, making many misinformed people to continue to see the condition as a taboo, resulting to stigma and discrimination against people living with SCD.

TARGET GROUP / TIME OF TRAINING

The community at large but most especially, I will begin with a small manageable group which will consist of:

  • Sickle Cell Patients
  • Care givers
  • One or two medical practitioners
  • Empathizers.

The training will be held in June. It will be part of a series of planned week long activities to go with my Digital Action Campaign of #BeASickleCellVoice which starts on Monday June 13th and ends on Sunday, June 19th, World Sickle Cell Day. It will last for 1 hour.

GOAL/ OUT COME

Participants will be able to understand the ABCs of the disease. This knowledge will empower them to easily identify possible trigger factors of a crisis and how to care for and manage a sickle cell patient undergoing crisis.

Participants will be able to understand trigger factors in a crisis such as:

  • Extreme cold
  • Stress
  • Malaria
  • Dehydration
  • Menstrual cramps etc and what they can do to avoid or care for a patient in such situations.

The community outcome will be that, through this training, participants will be able to see things differently and thus, change their mindsets and demystify taboos surrounding SCD. This is because, if a parent comes to understand that cold would make his or her child sick, he or she will take steps to make sure their child stays warm during cold weathers to minimize crisis rather that attribute it to witchcraft.

TRAINER’S TOOLKIT

I will use the WorldPulse Trainer’s toolkit. I will train in English. However, as a bilingual country and with me living in a predominantly French speaking culture, I will have to adapt my language either by including the common lingua franca ‘CamFrancanglais’ which is a mixture of English and French or ‘Pidgin English’ or secure the help of a volunteer interpreter who is perfectly bilingual and in case of a deaf, I would be able to speak and sign as well.

RESOURCES

I hope to use my VOF stipend to get a Camcorder which will go a long way to help with recordings and audiovisual to make the message accessible to a broader audience.

I plan to get whiteboard and markers and [a packet of A4 papers or small pocket notebooks and pens, hopefully monogrammed with the campaign slogan #BeASickleCellVoice, and awareness brochures if I can get someone do it at a cheaper rate]. I hope with such souvenirs, people will be more inclined to speak out and join their voices in my drive to stop the existing taboo and stigmas against SCD.

I will approach the Medical Dr in Charge of a hospital noted for having sickle cell clinics to arrange for a convenient time and venue within their hospital premises. There are chances of having it for free or at a minimal cost. Light snacks and drinks will be provided. Limited Cash will be a major roadblock but, I will plan to do a little crowd funding to cover excess cost.

SAFETY CONCERN

My plan to hold the training in June is double fold. The week the training holds is a week which heightens activities for sickle cell awareness. Also, the weather in Yaoundé will be ideal for sickle cell patients to venture out the doors without fear of experiencing a crisis. June is warm and friendly as compared to April and May which are cold and rainy. And a one hour program in the morning or afternoon ensures that everyone gets home after safe and sound.

Comments 9

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helen.ng
Apr 10, 2016
Apr 10, 2016

Hello Arrey,

This double whammy idea sounds great - holding the training sessions during the week of sickle cell awareness. Sickle cell is definitely a health issue that should not continue to be overlooked, despite the fact that it is not prevalent in European or North American areas. I like how you highlighted the safety concerns, as well as the outcomes and resources in a clear and effective manner. I wish you all the best.

With kindest regards,

Helen Ng

ARREY- ECHI
Apr 11, 2016
Apr 11, 2016

Dear Helen, Thank you kindly for your encouraging words. You picked out the essentials of the training plan. The need for people to speak up about SS because it is an international health concern. Once more, I thank you for stopping by. Best regards always

Sally maforchi Mboumien
Apr 11, 2016
Apr 11, 2016

Speak up sis Many still believe is witchcraft. I pray God gives you the resources to extend to bamenda. Please equally talk on sickle cell and marriage sometime too. Keep going dear

ARREY- ECHI
Apr 11, 2016
Apr 11, 2016

Dear Masalien's, Thank you for stopping by and for the encouraging words. Yes we need to keep talking about this. Sickle cell and Marriage is one sure topic I have plans to blog on in my blog www.joy2endure.com please stop by if possible. I will also be coming to Bamenda come August .for the Millienium Epowerment Conference hope you will be there. Once again, thank you,

Precious Nkeih
Apr 13, 2016
Apr 13, 2016

"Knowledge is power" might be an over used phrase but it is so true especially when dealing with a misunderstood disease like sickle cell. I can't wait to see how this training tuns out. You might not always see that but you are adding value to many lives with your vision. Keep soaring! I dey for ya back.

Precious

ARREY- ECHI
Apr 13, 2016
Apr 13, 2016

My dear Sista Pre, You don tok am finish. Knowledge is power and the importance of that cannot be over emphasised in the battle for survival where sickle cell especially is concerned. Thank you so much for the kind words. It warms the heart to know there are many who got my back. Merci ma soeur. Hugs

Hannah B
Apr 13, 2016
Apr 13, 2016

Hi Arrey!

It sounds like you have a very complete plan!  I wonder if it would be good to have a time for participants to share some of their experiences during the training?  It might be difficult to fit that into an hour - just an idea!     You are a strong advocate and are doing great work on this topic -- I wish you all of the best and I hope you will let us know how the training turns out! :)

Best,

Hannah

ARREY- ECHI
Apr 13, 2016
Apr 13, 2016

Dear Hannah, It is always good to log in and feel your presence. Thank you kindly for the encouraging words. Yes, One hour is small but if everything goes smoothly, participants will have some time to share their experiences about living with or dealing with sickle cell. I will be more than happy to share how it all went. Thank you once again. Wish you the best

Jul 21, 2016
Jul 21, 2016
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