Sickle Cell Anemia, an inherited blood disorder, was first discovered by Dr. James B. Herrick in Chicago, Illinois in 1910. This condition, characterized by the presence of sickle-shaped red blood cells, primarily affects African Americans in the United States, as well as individuals of Mediterranean, North African, Southern Asian, and Caribbean descent.
In Savannah, the disease has a significant impact, with approximately one in every 400 births being affected. Screening efforts began in 1973 at the Chatham County Health Department, prompted by state laws on premarital testing. A dedicated group of individuals, including nurse Mrs. Parnell Jones and chaired by Mr. John Finney, formed the Sickle Cell Anemia Steering Committee to provide community education and support services. Over the years, through collaborations with organizations like the Economic Opportunity Authority and the Sickle Cell Foundation of Georgia, Inc., as well as the Curtis V. Cooper Primary Health Care Center, the Sickle Cell Association of Savannah has worked tirelessly to increase awareness, understanding, and supportive services for individuals with sickle cell trait and disease in Chatham and surrounding counties.
Know your status
Knowing your sickle cell status can help you take steps to protect your health. At the Sickle Cell Association, we can provide you with resources and support to help you understand your sickle cell trait and live a healthy life. We're here to answer your questions and help ensure you have the information you need to stay safe and healthy.