Director of the Sickle Cell Unit at the University of the West Indies, UWI, Professor Jennifer Knight-Madden says despite several breakthroughs with screening and treatment of the disease there are still challenges.

She says stigmatization of persons living with the sickle cell disease remains one of their biggest challenges.

But, she’s also hoping that the disease will become a line item in the Health Ministry’s budget over time.

Yesterday was commemorated as World Sickle Cell Day.

Neika Lewis reports.

Sickle cell is a blood disorder inherited from a persons parent often limiting the production of red blood cells in the patients body.

Professor Knight Madden says an estimated 17 thousand Jamaicans are now living with the sickle cell disease.

And although she says there are numerous medical breakthroughs and trials being conducted on sickle cell patients locally, she wants to see more being done for sickle cell patients.

The Sickle Cell Unit Director says some of the unit’s challenges stem from limited resources.

But Professor Knight Madden insists stigmatization remains one of their worse problems.

She’s encouraging Jamaicans to be more sensitive to the variances and needs of sickle cell disease patients