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Resolution

Sickle Cell Anemia Funding: Treatment, Prevention and Education

WHEREAS, sickle cell anemia and sickle cell disease, used interchangeably, refer to a group of inherited disorders that affect hemoglobin, the molecule in red blood cells that delivers oxygen to the cells throughout the body; and

WHEREAS, having only one sickle cell gene confers a status called "sickle cell trait," which occurs in one out of every 12 African Americans and one out of every 100 Latinos in the United States; and

WHEREAS, when the cells are deoxygenated they turn into a sickle, crescent or other inflexible shape, get stuck in blood vessels and block the blood flow, which can cause pain and organ damage; and

WHEREAS, it is estimated that sickle cell is present in one out of every 500 African American births and one out of every 36,000 Latino births where there are two sickle cell genes from one parent; and

WHEREAS, sickling can become a life-threatening condition when the sickling patient's access to comprehensive healthcare is limited by social, economic, cultural and geographic barriers; and

WHEREAS, in 2009 the estimated annual cost of medical care for people with sickle cell disease exceeded $1.1 billion; and

WHEREAS, other barriers limit the number of experienced, knowledgeable health care providers available to manage and treat sickle cell anemia; and

WHEREAS, the lack of education in communities where individuals live with sickle cell disorders without ever knowing it can be addressed through education, testing and preventive measures; and

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) calls for increased funding of sickle cell programming, to include treatment, prevention, and education; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NAACP calls for implementation of programs that endeavor to educate and bring awareness to African American and Latino communities about sickling disorders and hemoglobin-related diseases through health agencies, education forums, community cultural centers, and local and national sickle cell awareness campaigns; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NAACP demands that African Americans and other people of color have access to experienced health care providers with knowledge and experience to prevent or manage sickling disorders, from family and community education to testing to preventing complications; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the NAACP calls upon Congress to fully fund programming for preventing and/or comprehensively managing sickling and other hemoglobin-related disorders.

Derrick Lewis - Youth & College Hero

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