In complementing government’s efforts to reduce sudden death from infections and crisis in early childhood, Coulson Sickle –Cell Foundation (CSCF) a non-profit making organization has come to address the problem of sickle-cell among children in Sierra Leone.
At a news conference yesterday at Cabenda Hotel in Freetown, Founder and Chief Executive Director of CSCF, Sekqueen Cartlton- Carew John said that, her organization was founded to address the problem of sickle-cell among children in Sierra Leone.
The mission, she said, is to educate the society about the disease; and to create awareness through outreach and support programs on how to manage sickle cell.
She explained that “our mission is to develop an extensive awareness about sickle-cell, through outreach support and effective management of the disease.
The purpose of CSCF, she said, is to meet the critical needs and address the medical necessity of children with sickle cell; adding that “I was galvanized in developing this foundation by my experience in preparing to visit Sierra Leone in 2003 with my son who has sickle-cell SS”. She intimated that upon consultation with her son’s physicians in the US, she was surprised to learn of certain restrictions to prevent her son from having a “crisis” which is frequent with this disease, while in Sierra Leone.“As a mother, the restrictions were necessary for a successful visit, but as a Sierra Leonean, it was unacceptable to know I cannot spontaneously visit home with my son without bringing a variety of medical supplies in anticipation of a crisis” she averred.
The founder pointed out that she realized there are likely thousands of children with the disease at home; including Sierra Leoneans with children abroad who would like to visit the Country but could not do so without the proper medical facilities and professionals in the Country. She stated that with the support of the Sierra Leone Government and Medical Institutions, CSCF, would like to contribute and create awareness of the disease through outreach and support on how best to manage this disease. She then explained that the foundation would provide strategic plans on how to manage the debilitating outcomes of sickle-cell anemia on children and their families. Through this effort, the first treatment center which is located at 93 Circular Road in Freetown would be opened to the public this year with other centers to follow countrywide. Sekqueen further disclosed that they would be working with hematology physicians, medical researchers and specialists in the United States and other countries who would conduct training programs and workshops and also partner with local organizations in Sierra Leone. She thanked her husband James Sonny Coulson John for the support he had given her and for making the building available to her to open the first center in Freetown.