The Sickle Cell Association of Antigua and Barbuda

 is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of Sickle Cell patients and their families in as many ways as possible: medically, personally and on a nation-wide level.

Sickle Cell Disease can be devastating. We can help.

Sickle cell disease is an inherited, potentially incapacitating blood disorder. It is prevalent not only in the Caribbean and the African-American region, but also in the Mediterranean, the Middle East and India. Worldwide, more than 300,000 children are born with Sickle cell disease every year.
Patients with sickle cell disease go through episodes of excruciating pain due to blockage of small blood vessels. Long-term complications can affect any organ, ranging from visual impairment to kidney damage or stroke.
Early diagnosis and proper care can prevent suffering and handicap. Even though complications cannot always be avoided, most sickle cell patients receiving adequate medical care can live a full life. In Antigua, about 18 % of the population carries the sickle trait. We have an estimated 1,000 patients with sickle cell disease.

Our Goals

  • to improve care for patients
  • to lend support to patients and families
  • to establish a statistic data base
  • to establish a Sickle Cell Clinic
  • to educate patients, health care providers and general public about Sickle Cell Disease and its management
  • to increase public awareness regarding Sickle Cell Disease
  • to increase public awareness regarding carrier status and testing in order to prevent the birth of more affected children.

Our association has been present for over 10 years. We want the best for our patients.

At the Antigua and Barbuda Sickle Cell Association, we are doing our best to improve life and care of patients and families.

Treatment options

SCD is caused by an error in the patient’s genome. At present, the only permanent cure is bone marrow transplantation, which is still risky, unsatisfactory in some cases, very expensive and therefore not an option for us in Antigua. We are placing our hopes on further advances in gene therapy.

However, there is a lot that we can do to help patients with SCD:
  • daily folic acid (needed to produce red blood cells)
  • Penicillin prophylaxis for children
  • non-routine vaccines (in particular Prevenar 13) for both children and adults
  • prompt and sufficient pain management of  vaso-occlusive episodes
  • Hydroxyurea: oral medication mainly, but not only, for.patients with HbSS. Reduces number  …of pain crises and complications.           
  • life style: plenty of fluids, enough rest, no alcohol, no smoking. Avoid cold temperatures and  exertion. Have regular check-,ups.