There are many illnesses and diseases in the world that affect people in various kinds of ways, and while some are well known, there are others that are not so popular. As World Sickle Cell Awareness Day 2020 approaches, we take a look at what the disease is all about and why a day has been marked to highlight it. Also Read - World Day to Combat Desertification And Drought 2020: History And Significance of The Day

Sickle cell disease (SCD), which is a group of blood disorders that affect a person’s red blood cells, is a genetic condition that is passed on from parents. The disorder causes normal round and flexible blood cells to become stiff and sickle shaped, which in turn stops the blood cells and the oxygen they carry from moving freely around the body. Also Read - Father's Day 2020: How The Day Came About And Why it is Celebrated All Over The World

A person with the condition suffers from episodes of severe pain and has to be treated with strong painkillers like morphine. Symptoms of sickle cell will start showing from around 5 to 6 months of age, and along with the pain a person can also suffer from anemia, swelling in the hands and feet, bacterial infections, blindness, bone damage and stroke. Also Read - World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2020: Here Are Some Signs That Indicate an Elder is Being Abused

How World Sickle Cell Awareness Day Came About:

On December 22, 2008, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution that recognised sickle cell disease as a public health problem. The UN designated June 19 of every year as World Sickle Cell Awareness Day in order to raise awareness about the disorder on the national and international level.

Why is World Sickle Cell Awareness Day Held:

Since 2008, the day has been marked annually to help increase public knowledge and raise awareness about the disease and the struggles that patients and their families go through. The day also highlights the treatment, whether surgical or medicinal, that is available for the patient that is suffering from sickle cell disease.