About Sickle Cell
Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a major genetic disease in most countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. It is a disorder that affects the hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is the substance that that is responsible for carrying oxygen to all parts of the body. The main symptoms of SCD include severe anemia and severe acute pain called vaso-occlusion crisis(VOC). This pain is caused when the cells change their shape to sickle shaped cells in low oxygen environment of the body. The sickle shaped red blood cells then stick together, causing blockages in the small blood vessels.
Children with SCD experience various complications such as acute chest syndrome (ACS), stroke, blindness and bone damage.
With time, patients with SCD can suffer vital organ damage such as liver, lungs, heart, spleen and kidneys which may later result into death.Treatment of SCD mostly focuses on preventing and treating complications.
The drug of choice in Zambia for treatment of SCD is hydroxyurea to prevent or reduce painful crises mentioned above. The benefits of hydroxyurea in pediatric patients with sickle-cell disease includes reduced rate of sickle-cell crises and reduced mortality.
Benefits also include splenic preservation and long-term prevention of organ damage.
The SCD trait is estimated at 18% of the Zambian population. The University Teaching Hospitals, Lusaka, with the largest population of SCD patients, has on its records over 6, 000 patients currently registered with them. The majority of these are children below the age of fifteen years. SCD patients accounted for 12% of the total all- cause admissions at the UTH- Children's Hospital in 2017 and yet SCD was 4th of the top five causes of mortality among children admitted to UTH- Children's Hospital in 2017 and top 10 among the causes of seeking outpatient care.
The rate of cardiovascular accidents (stroke) have gone up because most children are not able to afford hydroxyurea hence the rate of disability has also gone up in these children. Meaning these children need rehabilitation therapy. Early commencement and adherence to hydroxyurea treatment can prevent these complications.
Hydroxyurea is quiet expensive for most of the patient's parents to afford an adequate treatment hence as RACIZ aims to fill that gap for vulnerable children in buying and distributing of the medicine.
Your donations will help in meeting the cost of procurement of hydroxyurea.
About malnutrition in Zambia
MALNUTRITION is a serious problem in Zambia. According to the National Food and Nutrition Commission (NFNC), malnutrition is one of the major public health concerns with a rate of 52 per cent of child deaths due to malnutrition.
The 2013/14 Zambia Demographic and Health Survey notes that 40 percent of children under five are stunted. Malnutrition is a major burden on the Zambian health care system and contributes to low human capital. Nationally, 40 percent of children under 5 years are stunted. Analysis by age groups shows that stunting is highest (54 percent) in children 18-23 months and lowest (14 percent) in children under 6 months.
Stunting means a child is too short for their age, has low weight for their age, and bone growth is delayed. It is caused by lack of nutrients in a diet.
The 2016 Global Nutrition Report notes that malnutrition and poor diets constitute the number-one driver of the global burden of disease.
GLOBALLY, and in Zambia in particular, the face of malnutrition is vast. Accounting for more deaths than HIV, malaria and TB combined, malnutrition underlies 52 percent of all under-five deaths in Zambia. Stunting, wasting and underweight is what is most often seen and heard, with stunting, low height-for-age.
Severe acute malnutrition (SAM) is a major global public health problem responsible for over one million young child deaths each year. SAM is characterized by extreme wasting where a child's body shuts down due to starvation.
In Zambia alone, nearly 43,000 children die every year of severe acute malnutrition (very low weight-for-height), with 4,000 being in Lusaka alone.
The Ministry of Health states that more than 108,000 children under the age of five suffer from severe malnutrition every year.
Feeding is the treatment that all SAM patients require and your donation is going help us feed that one child with SAM in Zambia.
Your kindness and generosity will help buy some food for the malnourished kids and prevent that untimed death for these children.
Malaria Prevention in Zambia
RACIZ supplements government effort by providing anti-malarial drugs to vulnerable children in rural communities with high prevalence rate of malaria.
RACIZ plans to distribute mosquito nets and repellents to rural areas in the prevention of malaria as a component of the malaria project as soon as we will have enough funding from our generous donors.