Students with sickle cell disease face difficulties attending school

DHANGADI: A 20-year-old student from Bhajani Municipality in Kailali District misses school often as she suffers from the sickle cell disease. The hereditary disease that leads to abnormality in haemoglobin molecules has been creating difficulty for her to regularly attend the classes.

"I am unable to attend most of the classes and even miss my exams due to the pain," said the student, under the condition of anonymity, who is currently studying in Grade 12. She expressed her grief that the constant physical pain has barred her from passing her higher secondary education.

Likewise, a 14-year-old girl from the municipality who is suffering from the same disease is tackling similar problems. "It is difficult for me to attend school mostly during winters," shared the girl who studies in Grade 8.

Many children from Kailai district who are suffering from sickle cell disease are facing the same problems. The disease results in constant body and joint pain which makes it hard for the patients to move about. The pain increases if the patient is not provided with necessary medications on a regular basis. According to doctors, the sickle cell affects multiple organs of the body and the patient constantly suffers from pain.

"I was diagnosed with the disease only last year," said the 20-year-old student. She said, by then the number of sickle cells had already increased in her body which made her sick during the final exams. Though she has filled the examination form for this year as well, her health problem continues.

According to Dr Nirajan Dutta Sharma, a physician at Seti Zonal Hospital, the patients suffering from the ailment have to regularly visit health facilities, which affects their work or studies and forces them to be absent.

As per the statistics provided by the zonal hospital, 583 patients suffering from sickle cell disease have visited the hospital for treatment, majority of whom belong to the Tharu community.