BI-RACIAL CHILDREN & SICKLE CELL DISEASE/ TOPE AKWADA/ 25 JUNE
Can bi-racial children get sickle cell disease? The short answer is YES! We know already that sickle cell is common in Africans, African Americans, people from mediterranean countries like Greece and Turkey, India, spanish speaking regions in south and central America and parts of the carribean. This means that both dark and light skin people can carry copies of the sickle cell genes.
Going a bit back in time, scd was once labelled as a 'black disease' so when 'white' people began showing up with it, it became important for the medical community to try to explain this and their first attempt at doing so was to presume that these white patients must have 'mixed' backgrounds. Today, it is understood that the sickle cell trait is common outside Africa and so historically considered 'white' people can infact carry it. I will not go so far as to say that there is still the general misconception that sickle cell only affects black people but in recent times, there have still been murmurs of this that persisted. With more blood screening being done, people are finding that more non black children are showing up with both the sickle cell trait and sickle cell disease.
While the presence of sickle cell trait or disease in interracial relationships does exist, it poses some concerns within the medical sphere, chief among them is that it may result in subpar medical care for the patients. The important thing is that people in general need to get past the idea of race when looking at sickle cell and concentrate more on one's genetic heritage that affects disease risk such as this. So long as each parent carries one of the sickle cell genes, there is a 50-50 chance of the bi-racial offspring having scd. Treatment and management should be the same for such children as with black children and both are entitled to the same level of care from health care professionals.
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