Interview with Philip Udeh
Do you think Sickle cell is misunderstood by the Black community?
Yes. Definitely. Many people do not know what is but they ‘know’ that it’s bad. They don’t know the mechanism of sickle cell.
There is a misconception about it, and sickle cell has a bad stigma attached to it. There is a spiritual thing associated to it; like a curse. If you ask if someone has it in the family they will say ‘No!’ with pride!
It has become spiritually negative. Really sickle cell is a genetic disorder and if we knew about it we can mitigate sickle cell. Even if a person has it they can improve their quality of life. To be honest even people with sickle cell do not understand it. They know how the disorder makes it hard for oxygen to get around the body but they do not know how to improve their quality of life. Many take morphine which is an addictive drug with negative effects on the body, altering the persons receptors of pain.
This is the reason why I previously launched Sickle Success to educate the community. Education is essential and it is important for everybody to see the correlation between a healthy lifestyle and how they function. As Africans we are not functional because of our lifestyle, and people with sickle cell can’t afford to have a poor lifestyle.