Augusta University sickle cell program receives $50,000 grant

Augusta University
Augusta University(WRDW)
Published: Jul. 29, 2020 at 1:18 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) – Augusta University’s Sickle Cell Transition Program was recently awarded $50,000 from Global Blood Therapeutics.

The grant was made through the company’s 2020 Access to Excellent Care for Sickle Cell Patients program.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, sickle cell disease affects millions of people around the world, particularly among those whose ancestors are from sub-Saharan Africa. It also affects people of Hispanic, South Asian, Southern European and Middle Eastern ancestry. An estimated 100,000 people in the United States are affected by the lifelong blood disorder. 

Dr. Nnenna Badamosi, director of the program that focuses on teenage patients, said the grant will continue to support the transition to adult care for sickle cell patients in rural south Georgia.

“A lot of our work is focused in Augusta, but we still have a large patient population in rural Georgia that we have been unable to provide comprehensive services for due to limited funding,” Badamosi said in a statement.

Badamosi said the grant money will fund travel as well as virtual clinics for patients “to provide focused education on topics related to transition.” It also will provide funding for rural patients to travel for some larger events in Augusta, such as an annual graduation event, a holiday event where speakers discuss new topics related to sickle cell and quarterly teen clinics.

People with sickle cell disease form abnormal hemoglobin due to a genetic mutation. Red blood cells become sickled — deoxygenated, crescent-shaped and rigid. Diminished oxygen delivery to tissues and organs can lead to life-threatening complications, including stroke and irreversible organ damage.

The patients are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19.

Copyright 2020 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved.

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