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Feb 28, 2014

Inaugural sickle cell clinic held at the K.H.M.H.

Elsworth Grant

Today, an inaugural sickle cell clinic was held at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Sickle cell is a disease of the blood which can result in a lot of pain for individuals who need to access the health system to receive care. In Belize, the only treatment provided to sickle cell patients is that of pain controls and narcotics medication and it has now expanded beyond the walls of the Dangriga Cancer Center to the K.H.M.H.  Founder of the Dangriga Cancer Center, Doctor Elsworth Grant, put on his hematologist hat to address the issue of sickle cell. According to Grant, a number of persons have the painful disease and the preparation for an outreach initiative like this has been long in the making.

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Dr. Elsworth Grant, Hematologist

“Today, we focused on adults and children in trying to help them to have better management of their disease so that they can stay out of the hospitals.”

 

Duane Moody

“The persons that came to the clinic today were they persons that are known to have sickle cell or just had symptoms of what could have possibly been sickle cell?”

 

Dr. Elsworth Grant

“No these are known individuals with the sickle cell disease who have experienced hospitalizations at the medical center here ranging all the way from today’s seven year old to, I think, the oldest individual we saw was in their thirties. And it’s a wide range of problems but it is just focusing on strategies to keep them out of the hospitals and better disease management.”

 

Duane Moody

“Tell us about the services, the medical services that are available in country for persons with this disease?”

 

Dr. Elsworth Grant

“You know mainly it is pain control with narcotic medications and non-narcotic medications and because the disease is known more for pain, many individuals focus more on pain. And in patients presenting to the hospital, lot of the patients get a stigma of being drug addicts and drug seekers and things of that sort, which is far from the sort. Besides pain medicines today I actually brought down with me one of the known treatments for sickle cell disease, the drug called hydroxyl urea. There is a supply here at the medical center with Doctor Selma Bermudez who did the clinic with me and who will also continue on and hopefully we will establish an ongoing great program to help individuals with sickle cell disease.”

 

Follow-up clinics will be held every six to seven weeks.

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