CANADA CELEBRATES FIRST OFFICIAL SICKLE CELL AWARENESS DAY
It all began in 2011, when Hon Kirsty Duncan introduced the first National Sickle Cell bill C-605.
In 2015 (December 8), due to the advocacy efforts of the Sickle Cell Disease Association of Canada (SCDAC/AAFC) under the leadership of Mrs. Lanre Tunji-Ajayi, Senator Jane Cordy introduced in the Senate Bill S-211 – An Act recognizing June 19th as the national Sickle Cell Awareness Day in Canada.
On October 20th, 2016, the Bill went through all stipulated readings and passed the Senate.
On October 21st, 2016, now championed by Darren Fisher (MP from Nova Scotia), the Bill moved to the House of Commons.
Between 2015 and 2017, SCDAC/AAFC held two advocacy and education events on the Parliament Hill to ensure that every Senator and member of parliament is exposed to and educated on sickle cell.
On December 17, 2017, Bill S-211 was passed as a Law in Canada. By this singular act, Canada becomes the first country to officially recognize World Sickle Cell Day (June 19) in line with the recommendation from the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2006 and the United Nations (UN) in 2008.
(photo courtesy SCAGO)