Sickle Cell Anemia Support -2017 from UBC, Canada.

Sickle Cell Anemia Project
May 15, 2017

Sickle Cell Anemia Support -2017 from UBC, Canada.

After landing in Kathmandu, the eight students of UBC went to three schools in Kathmandu, one public school and two private schools. The difference they felt in the education was really shocking. While they found that the private school students had much more knowledge about the blood cells and things present in our body, the students of the public school knew comparatively less.

The eight members of the sickle cell group came to Dang on the sixth of May, under the support of IWEN and Creating possibilities Nepal, to see the impact that had been made by their seniors in the previous years. The team was assisted by Miss Spanda Raj Sapkota and Miss Barsha Rai and facilitated by Dinesh and other field staffs. The second day that the team had reached Dang, they were welcomed with garlands and tika’s at the Unako house where another function, Unako memorial was taking place in the name of a small girl who died at the age of three due to pneumonia.
Though the day was emotional, everybody had fun as we danced, ate, and then got together for a meeting to discuss what they were going to do for the next two weeks. On the eighth and ninth of May, they went to five schools in Dang where they taught about sickle cell disease and how to treat it along with basic health care do’s and don’ts. In Dang, while people where getting their blood screened, the sickle cell group was having group discussions with the people who have sickle cell disease, sickle cell trait and people who tested negative.

Interview with individuals who have been screened for sickle cell There seems to be more people who tested negative, six people have the disease and equal number those have trait.

Also on the 12th of May, there was an interaction held in the district office, Ghorahi, under the leadership of the district public health where part-time CP Nepal staff participated.

The discussion with the community people was going on at the UNAKO office where eight had divided themselves in a group of four, each having translator and six member in each session.

on fourth days, around 200 people had participated in the discussion. Individuals 7-15 years of age were allowed to participate under the assent of their parents or guardians, but other than that anyone could come and participate. The questions revolved around how they found their screening process and about the pros and cons.

On May 14, the group along with the CP Nepal staffs conducted a forum theatre, so that the people of the community could understand the concept of sickle cell disease properly. The sickle cell group along with the other members started attracting the audience by dancing to various songs.

After maybe thirty minutes of dancing in the summer heat of three in the afternoon, we managed to gather a good amount of people to come and look at the play.
A chart showing the process to be followed by a person who is tested positive

The play went smoothly and we could see that the people who gathered around were enjoying it as we had added some funny comments along. Ending the play with the famous Nepali song ‘Nira’ we felt satisfied at what we all had done and left the village with big smiles on our faces.

The next day, the group went to the mothers group, where they taught about sickle cell to the mothers. Believing that the society can be aware only when the mothers are educated, the group went to the mothers and told them about the occurrence of sickle cell disease, how it transmits and how can we treat it. The mothers were very enthusiastic to learn about this disease that prevails in the Tharu community. They put forward their concerns and later filled out the questionnaires in which questions about sickle cell were asked. After dancing for a while, the group left the mothers group and came back to the Unako office.

On the sixteenth of May, the sickle cell team went to a community health post in Gangaparaspur where they took a quick glance at the screening that was being done. They went to see the maternal and child health care center of the same health post and took a quick glance around the place where the pregnant woman and the child get checked up and also where the baby is delivered.

Later that day after having lunch and a final practice for the theater, we went to a village called Gobardiha where around 70 to 80 had gathered to watch our play. Feeling satisfied with what we had done and how the play had turned out, we all felt happy to watch the smiles on the audiences face. Finally closing off the show with ‘Nira’ we left the grounds with huge smiles and a feeling of satisfaction as we had completed the last show beautifully. On the 17th of May, the group had a discussion on general health with 30 men who gave their ideas on what could be done to improve the health services in their village. After this final discussion, all the work was complete and finally on the 19th of May, the team left Dang at around eight in the morning.

This program had been a success because of the provided support of the University of British Columbia along with the implementing directors, IWEN and CPN. This program couldn’t have been accomplished without the help from these eight wonderful people:
1. Alice Liu
2. Jessie Spooner
3. Kevin Liang
4. Michael Jay
5. Maya Rosenkrantz
6. Natasha Benson
7. Sophia Lee
8. Vikas Sharma

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