If you have been following us on social media, you know that we just returned from Grenada. This was my first time visiting the island and I had a great time. The food was amazing! I'm not the biggest fan of roti but I had the best chicken roti ever. So clearly, now I'm a fan. Also, they have an underwater museum which has over 80 statues. If I had a water camera, best believe my IG and Facebook would be flooded with pictures of me posing by the underwater statues!
There is more to Grenada than great food and excursions, it has a special relationship with Sickle Cell Disease. The first person diagnosed with having symptoms of SCD was discovered in Grenada. His name was Walter Clement Noel.
To learn more about SCD in Grenada, I met with the Sickle Cell Association of Grenada. Their mission is to raise awareness of SCD and improve the lives of individuals and their families affected by the disorder. The Sickle Cell Association of Grenada is a voluntary organization, which was formed in September 2006 by a group of health-care personnels and concerned individuatials. I sat down with one of the volunteers to learn about the structure of the organization and some of the challenges they face.
The Association is dedicated to providing education, support and counseling to affected individuals, their caregivers and families. They are specifically focused on testing for Sickle Cell Trait. If more people know that they have the trait, they can understand the complications and learn of the possibility of having a child with SCD.
I was shocked to learn that the Association receives no subsidy from the government so they must fundraise to continue services and activities to the community. Since 1 out of 10 people in Grenada have SC Trait, the government should financially support the SCD community. Donations from corporations, individuals, and nonprofits have helped the Association. Some of their activities include presentations to teachers of pre-schools, primary schools, parent/teacher associations, church groups, etc. to inform them about the nature of SCD, management and possible complications of children with SCD in their care.
The Association works with St. George University to assist 53 children at the SC clinic. They developed a booklet for the parents to keep record of vaccinations, medicines, and medical procedures so in case of an emergency, they have all the medical information they need to educate and inform the doctor. Love, love, love this so much! They are providing the community with tools to advocate for themselves.
Since it is a volunteer based organization, they value committed individuals that are willing to help the community. If you are looking for a volunteer opportunity in a beautiful tropical island, look no further, Grenada is the place for you.
I'm glad I had the opportunity to learn about the Sickle Cell Association of Grenada firsthand. To learn more about the Association, check out their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/sicklecellgrenada/.