Isatu Kabia was the strongest of girls.
In early May, Isatu Kabia died of sickle cell disease at the age of 17. She was a student at the Evangelical Model High School in Freetown where she had been the school prefect. She was enrolled in the SGUW Health classes and was a very early member of the Health Club. She was a soft spoken person and also very bright and a dedicated learner. At home, she was the only child of her parents, who were devoted to her.
Isatu's passing hit all of us at SGUW very hard. She will be dearly missed by everyone who knew her and we pray for her family.
Sickle cell disease (SCD) is the most prevalent genetic blood disorder in the world and it is most commonly found in Africa where one in 13 Africans carry the gene. It kills approximately 40-45,000 people every year, mostly children. It can cause painful and debilitating episodes, long term disability and death.
Since the 1990s sickle cell disease has been treatable however, many people in Africa do not have access to the one medicine that treats this illness, even though the vast majority of people living with SCD live in that region. Currently, there is no known cure for SCD.
Isatu's loss was preventable which makes it all the more awful. We can and must do better.