By Shana Greene - Executive Director, Village Volunteers
child and baby with Sickle Cell Disease at clinic
Every year, almost 300,000 babies are born with a form of Sickle Cell Disease. The majority are in Sub Saharan Africa with a very high rate of childhood mortality. Even in the absence of medication, health education has been demonstrated to be effective in reducing mortality in young children. A pilot program in Benin has shown that with good nutriton and health interventions, it is possible to reduce mortality among African children to the same level as other children. Moringa with its powerhouse nutrition, and protein higher than soybean meal is an important health interventions that will provide nessesary nutrients that are missing in the diets of the children in these areas plagued by poverty.
Partnering with Dr. Marie Ojiambo, we will be launching our Sickle Cell Anemia Initiative this month by holding a Kick it with Kenya, public health awareness soccer tournament. Our goal is to support families who are dealing with a sick and dying child through support groups. Our first Sickle Cell Strong Muhuru Bay Chapter will be planting two acres of moringa trees as a means to nourish those affected by Sickle Cell Disease as well as the children who are suffering from malnutrition.
The women in Muhuru Bay who have children with Sickle Cell Anemia will be maintaining the trees, powdering the leaves and selling some of the harvest to help support their families.
We are excited to marry three of our initiatives with an integrated, holistic program approach.
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