STRATEGIC FOCUS:

OvercomingSCD in Rural Communities

The Challenge

Rural communities represent the majority of underserved population of people living with sickle cell disease in Nigeria.

Even with data lacking, it is estimated that these usually resource-limited communities contribute to high rates of births of people with sickle cell disease. The lack of data on these communities makes it difficult to ascertain if the people are educated on the risks of SCD or have access to care or if they are meeting treatment targets if any.

Our Response

OvercomingSCD in Underserved Communities is DSC's response to the need to identify, map and developing integrated surveillance programs in resource-limited communities identifying population most at risk and building interventions and implementations from informed people- and community health needs.

Objective

Work in partnership with relevant organizations to build capacity in rural communities so better healthcare can be received close to home.

Action

Develop and implement effective strategies that fosters healthcare improvement by:

  • capturing and supporting innovative approaches and developing partnerships to promote expertise and build capacity.
  • developing and implementing comprehensive training program for healthcare professionals, health workers and community volunteers.
  • reviewing models of care to identify those services that can be better delivered in a community setting, so that people with SCD can access them close to home.
  • continuing to grow and share our expertise in specialist sickle cell disease care across the health system.
  • participating in and supporting public or private sponsored programs for low-income individuals.
  • strengthen our partnerships to support and positively impact on the lives of children with SCD.
  • raising awareness and building the capacity and competencies of community-based healthcare providers to identify and manage common sickle cell conditions.

Objective

Advocate and lead on best practices in SCD care, with a focus on preventive care and patient-caregiver/community education.

Action

Develop and implement an Advocacy Plan that identifies key priorities for our advocacy work, including:

  • partnering with lead agencies to augment prevention strategies to tackle the prevalence of the disease.
  • explore the role of healthcare professionals and community volunteers in overcoming sickle cell disease.
  • developing interventions for the under-served population of the community.
  • improving education on the importance of genetic counseling.
  • participating in and supporting public or private sponsored programs for low-income individuals.
  • intensifying education on genetic counseling within at-risk population to promote informed decisions about reproductive choices.
  • properly sensitizing the communities on the disease.

Partnering to Impact

We strive to ensure that our partnerships are proactive, accountable and actively invested in all efforts to impact on the status of sickle cell disease in Africa and strengthen collaboration on building informed sustainable solutions that can be implemented, measured and scaled up overtime.

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