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Improving Medical Care by Integrating Sickle Cell Disease and Trait Education with Classroom Curriculums

Sickle Hemoglobin (SH) exists on a spectrum from Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) to Sickle Cell Trait (SCT). Lack of knowledge including the health complications of SH, safe and non-safe activities for those with SH, the inheritance pattern of SH and its effect on conception/offspring, is a significant factor in the cause of preventable deaths in patients with SCT/SCD. This lack of education is especially apparent in middle school, high school and college students. Children and young adults do not receive adequate education on the basics of SH and the significant health risks associated with it, leading to poor health and poor continuity of medical care as these individuals transition from pediatric to adult care. This lack of awareness is especially true during the transition from pre-childhood to teen phase and further from young adult to adulthood phase. The attached pdf document provides a means by which SH education can be integrated in various school subjects in order to mitigate SCT/SCD related deaths and to improve continuity of medical care as SCT/SCD patients transition into adulthood. Some of the classroom topics in which sickle hemoglobin education can be integrated include biology, chemistry, mathematics, history, computer science, physical education, geography, sociology and career planning. This integration will allow students to relate to the material being taught which will lead not only to improvements in class grade but also better knowledge about the disease, the health risks associated with it, activities to be cautious in and when to seek medical care etc. A comprehensive education strategy to create awareness and enhance knowledge especially in context with SCT and SCD among school students is the need of the day.

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Please read the attached PDF File for a more comprehensive plan.

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