Staff needed for sickle cell clinic

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The Antigua and Barbuda Sickle Cell Association said that it will be relying on sponsorship from the local business community as it seeks to hire staff for the sickle cell clinic, located in the Old Rehab Unit at the former Holberton hospital compound.
President of the association Dr. Edda Hadeed said that this is one of the main goals for 2018.
The sickle cell clinic was opened in June 2014 to provide prompt medical care to patients suffering from the disease, as well as to reduce the dependency on the emergency room at the Mount St. John’s Medical Centre (MSJMC).
“Because sickle cell disease is a very complex condition, it does help if the health care provider is very experienced with it. It also helps if you know your patients individually. This is the reason why we came up with the idea of a sickle cell clinic,” Dr Hadeed said.
Ideally, the association would need to hire a doctor, a nurse, an office coordinator, a cleaner and a driver.
Dr. Hadeed said that the funding is required because the non-profit organisation does not have the ability to absorb the cost at this time.
“We have a complete proposal, we know how much it is going to cost. The monies needed are to cover salaries…. the clinic is there, we need a few things but that is not immediate.
“It could be something that is pieced together. One company could sponsor a part-time nurse for six months and then a next company could do it for the second half of the year,” Dr. Hadeed said.
The Sickle Cell Association is a non-profit organisation with the goal of improving the lives of sickle cell patients and their families.
Their mission is to improve care for patients, educate patients, health care providers and the general public about the condition and its management.
Meanwhile, the head of the local association said sickle cell patients are coming forward and are registering for the sickle cell ID cards.
The programme was launched over a year ago in collaboration with the Mount St. John’s Medical Centre and the Medical Association.
Essentially, a sickle cell patient with a crisis is able to present that card to any emergency health care facility in order to receive prompt medical care.
“It is meant to alert the health care provider to the fact that this is an emergency. We all know it cannot guarantee priority treatment because emergency rooms have other types of emergencies. However, it does have critical information about the patient,” the president of the association said.
To receive a card, patients are required to take their health cards or any other form of documentation regarding their sickle cell status to the association and the ID card is issued to the patient following the registration process.

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