Black History Month and Sickle Cell Disease

Black History Month and Sickle Cell Disease

Black History Month and Sickle Cell Disease

A black History Month address to the community, from Founder & CEO Mrs. Lanre Tunji-Ajayi.

Mrs. Lanre Tunji-Ajayi, M.S.M

President/CEO, Sickle Cell Awareness Group of Ontario


In the spirit of Black History Month, let’s set aside an epoch of reflection and engage in the celebration of Black heritage and the achievements in sickle cell disease.

The month of February serves to honor the rich tapestry of Black history and culture and provides an opportunity to spotlight the health disparities and challenges experienced by the Black community, particularly those related to sickle cell disease (SCD).

Sickle cell disease is more than a medical condition; it’s a thread woven in the fabric of Black history, symbolizing a journey of resilience, struggle, and the ongoing fight for equitable healthcare.

Our organization, the Sickle Cell Awareness Group of Ontario (SCAGO), stands at the forefront of this battle, advocating for enhanced care, education, and support for those affected. As we engage in events and discussions celebrating Black History Month, let’s integrate the narrative of sickle cell disease, highlighting the importance of early diagnosis, innovative treatments, and the critical role of vaccines in preventing life-threatening complications associated with this disease.

Innovative Cures Approval & Pioneers

The year 2023 witnessed the approval of two innovative cures for sickle cell disease- Casgevy in the UK, USA, and Bahrain; and Lyfgenia in the USA. This advancement will forever change the face of the disease and its impact on the lives of those affected.

Our focus should also be on recognizing the pioneers who have made significant strides in sickle cell disease research and treatment in the Americas, many of whom come from our communities, such as Dr. Roland B. Scott, Charles F. Whitten, and Dr. Clarice Reid.

In addition to these notable figures, we must celebrate Canadian heroes who have been instrumental in advancing the cause of SCD within our national context. Hon. Jean Augustine, a trailblazer in Canadian politics, was the first person to introduce sickle cell disease to the House of Commons, bringing much-needed attention and legislative focus to this condition. Her efforts laid the groundwork for subsequent advocacy and policy development in Canada.

Senator Jane Cordy has also made a significant impact by introducing the first SCD bill passed in the Canadian Senate, marking a historic milestone in our collective effort to combat sickle cell disease. Senator Cordy’s dedication to healthcare advocacy and her pioneering work in sickle cell legislation has been pivotal in promoting awareness and supporting the community affected by SCD.


This month, let’s renew our commitment to breaking down barriers in healthcare, promoting SCD research, and ensuring that the voices of those living with SCD are heard and honored. By doing so, we pay tribute to our heritage and take a significant step towards a future where every individual with SCD has access to the care and support they deserve.

In solidarity and with heartfelt dedication to our cause,

Mrs. Lanre Tunji-Ajayi, M.S.M

President/CEO, Sickle Cell Awareness Group of Ontario


Address: 235-415 Oakdale Rd. North York, ON M3N 1W7

Phone: GTA: 416-745-4267


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