Charles Drew Community Blood Donation Drive
The Sabbath Program also features a Charles Drew Community Blood Donation drive. The Charles Drew (“Drew”) drive is a special initiative of the Missouri-Illinois Blood Services Region. The Drew program is unique in that drives are designed to recruit African-American blood donations. The Drew drive allows every donor to have the opportunity to be screened to determine if their unit is a match for a child with SCD. In the event that an individual matches they are then asked to make a donation on behalf of this child approximately three to four times per year.

An important paper on the role of the faith based community and sickle cell disease.  Read the article online.

BACKGROUND: Sickle cell disease (SCD) is now the most common genetic condition in the world including the UK with an estimate of over 12,500 affected people and over 300 new births per year. Blood transfusion therapy plays a very important role as a disease-modifying strategy in severe SCD e.g. primary and secondary stroke prevention and other acute life-threatening complications such as acute chest infections and acute multi-organ failure. Blood transfusion, however, carries a number of risks including alloimmunisation. There is the need to increase the level of awareness and education about SCD and also to increase blood donation drive among affected communities. These communities are mostly ethnic minority populations who are recognised to have poor access to health care services. Due to the strong impact of religion on these populations, faith organisations may provide potential access for health promotion and interventions.

METHODS: A literature search was conducted to find studies published between 1990-2008 aimed at examining the influence of religious leaders and faith organisations in health, with particular reference to haemoglobinopathies.

RESULTS: Eleven studies were reviewed covering a variety of health interventions. The findings suggest that involvement of religious leaders and faith organisations in health related interventions improved the level of acceptance, participation and positive health outcomes within the faith communities.

CONCLUSION: Religious leaders and faith organisations have the potential to influence health education, health promotion and positive health outcomes amongst members of their faith community. They also provide potential access to at-risk populations for increasing awareness about SCD, encouraging health service utilization and ethnic blood donor drives

The Sickle Cell Sabbath was recently covered in the
St. Louis Beacon.  Check it out here!

The Sickle Cell Sabbath was recently covered in the Suburban Journals section of STL Today.  Check it out here!