It is believed that around 300,000 children are born with sickle cell in Africa alone.

Sickle cell is related to malaria.

Research shows that the reason why sickle cell is so prevalent in people of African descent is due to malaria.

People with AS blood group are less likely to die of malaria than those with AA blood group. And so as malaria killed those with AA blood group, the survivors with AS blood group increased therefore spreading the disease.

When two couple who are AS have children, there is a greater chance that they will have a child who is a carrier of sickle cell disease because both parents have genes (traits). This is not always, but more likely so.

I have read of twins whose parents were not carriers, but the mother said one of her twins had Sickle Cell.

Some how the condition had mutated itself.

This is the reason why we need to support research and funding.

Doctors will discourage you from going to Africa or tropical countries in fear of malaria.

When Manchild was 2 years old. I took him on a holiday in The Gambia. I was prescribed Malerone for him as an anti malaria drug.

Half way through the journey, my son collapsed on the plane and was dying.

When you have access to ambulance on the ground you can be reassured. However, when you have a pilot telling you if you child doesn’t wake up in 30 mins before we cross the Sahara desert we’ll have to do an emergency landing, that is something words cannot describe.

God is able.

My child woke up to the clapping of passengers who hi fived him!

Unknown to me, I continued to give him his anti malaria drugs.

He vomited some days later in Gambia. I took him to see the so called nurse at the hotel. She took the liberties in screaming at me for bringing a child with SS to Africa during the rainy season when malaria is rampant.

Fear is not enough.

I read the side effects of malerone only to discover that it reduces the red blood cells.

Now people with SS have a low red blood cells and the doctor had prescribed a drug which reduces the blood cells!

Rushed him to the hospital. Blood level was very low.

A 7 day holiday lasted 3 weeks.

My friend had to leave us there.

I took holiday insurance.

We were lucky.

All expenses paid. A nurse was sent from the UK to accompany us with oxygen on the plane.

Travel insurance is a must!

She educated me on the dangers of anti malaria drugs.

Opened my eyes to a plant called citronella.

They have candles and wrist bands you can buy and wear to ward off mosquitoes.

I took the child to Ghana two years later. I used the wrist bands and enough repellents to kill all the mosquitoes in Ghana!

A doctor told me it is better for him to actually get malaria and build his own immunity.

WHAT?

UK doctors will have a fit!

He did catch malaria.

I was scared.

This child fought it off like nothing.

When his blood was measured he was 11! Even with malaria that level is extremely high for someone with SS.

I had been feeding with plenty of Golden Tree chocolates! Made in Ghana, high in cocoa!

We produce cocoa in African and send abroad.

African children rarely have coca in their diet.

300, 000 African children are diagnosed with Sickle Cell each year. At least 50% of them die in childhood due to complications.

What are we doing? How are mothers being educated about how to care for their kids?

I read very early on that African diet is very good for sickle cell. Yam, spinach, plantain etc.

I armed the child with them as a toddler. He was solid!

When he started mainstream school and became a picky eater. I cut yams the shapes of chips and fried them in disguise. He only eats fried green plantain. You can even mash yam and make sheperd’s pie.

We need education. We need more of our own people to specialise in research.

There many plants which are mosquito repellent, can you imagine if we educate more on natural remedies. If citronella incense was available in Africa?

My passion for garden is my way of researching. Getting to know nature. What I can do and will do one day when I go home.

Our grandparents and ancestors have been dealing with Sickle Call for centuries. They used herbs, a little pain here and there they said.

Don’t forget any condition which affects black people is rooted in racism. Politics of racism hampers research in sickle cell.

Look at ebola!

We need to do our own research and empower our own.

Everyday is sickle cell AWARENESS day.