West Fresno Health Care Coalition Launches Sickle Cell Disease Awareness Program
The West Fresno Health Care Coalition has launched a sickle cell disease awareness and prevention project funded by a $200,000, two-year grant from First 5 California, the Fresno Bee reports. The coalition is sponsoring the program in a joint venture with the Children's Hospital Central California Sickle Cell Center and Fresno Links, which supports the adult Sickle Cell Program at Saint Agnes Medical Center.
The program focuses on black and Latino families who have children with sickle cell disease, a genetic disorder that is passed to children when both parents are carriers. It is most common in people of African, Latino, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and East Indian ancestry, according to the Bee.
The coalition will test children for sickle cell disease and provide support services for families affected by the disease.
According to the coalition, about 2,400 Fresno residents have sickle cell disease, and the county has a high rate of carriers as well. All infants born in California are screened at birth for the disease (Anderson, Fresno Bee, 9/9).