Sickle Cell 101, California (USA)-based non-profit organisation that specialises in Sickle Cell education, has honoured Dr Sudam Kate for his “extraordinary work” in sickle cell screening and research with prestigious “2017 Sickle Cell Advocate of the Year” award, which comprises $500 as prize and an appreciation certificate.
Dr Kate is first Indian to receive this international award. He has screened more than two lakh people for sickle cell and identified over 3,000 patients in tribal community from Maharashtra, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh.
Sickle cell anaemia is a hereditary defect confined to red blood cells. The basic defect is in the structure of haemoglobin molecule of the red blood cells. These cells take shape of a sickle in oxygen-deficient environment. Due to this effect, there is early destruction of the cells leading to condition known as sickle cell anaemia. This genetic disease affects all organs of the body.
Dr Kate works as the head of department and Emeritus scientist with the Maharashtra Arogya Mandal, an NGO established in 1960 working in health education and tribal development. Sickle cell anaemia project is being implemented since 1990 and treatment of polyhedral drug SC3 is given free of cost. This is an innovative drug formulated by the Maharashtra Arogya Mandal. Dr Kate said this disease is not only limited to tribal areas but now reaching cities. Awareness about sickle cell screening is important, he said.