The new executive of the Sickle Cell Association of Grenada (SCAG) was presented during its Annual General Meeting (AGM) on July 25 at The Connection, Glean’s Garage Building on the Lagoon Road in St. George’s
Former Health Minister Ann David-Antoine will serve as Chairperson with her deputy being, Dr. Sonia Nixon, Tessa Stroude is the Secretary and other executive members are Kathie Miller and Claudia Simon.
It was unanimously agreed by the membership at the meeting that the members from the previous executive will continue to serve on the body.
A voluntary organisation which started 2007 has been providing assistance and support to several families affected by the sickle cell gene.
According to David-Antoine, the organisation supports up to 40 children monthly and is doing the best it can give despite limited financial and human resources.
Statistics provided also show that 1 in every 10 Grenadian has some sickle cell trait.
The feature address was delivered by St George’s University employee, Dr. Damion Greaves, who spoke on ‘Health Management and Policy’.
He described as very critical the health challenges in Grenada at this time, noting the burden of increasing obesity, excessive salt and sugar in diets and less physical activity.
The socio-economic concerns were also highlighted by Dr. Greaves who noted the negative impacts on the working population posed by sickle cell and other health concerns.
He, however, said that due to the vulnerability of the Caribbean – being susceptible to external shocks, the diets (food) being consumed and the increasing alcohol consumption are making it challenging to manage the health needs and concerns of the local and regional population.
The organisation is engaged with outreach through awareness and education, within the school systems, making presentations to groups and Parent Teachers Association (PTA) about ways and means to cope with these health challenges.
There is also a call for more people to speak out against unhealthy eating.
The increasing presence of barbeque stands along the road sides are becoming a grave concern and the need for ensuring standards are right as well as the enforcement of regulations are some of the recommendations made by the association.
The organisation also provides counseling and advice to antenatal women found to be carriers of the Sickle gene as well as to prospective parents.
An appeal was made by several members of the executive committee for more nationals to get involved in the work of the organisation.
Meetings are held on the fourth Tuesday of the month at The Connection, Kirani James Blvd., St. George’s.