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Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Health journalist Elizabeth Merab reveals her personal health story

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For the very first time, Elizabeth Merab, the award-winning health and science Journalist has shared her personal health story.

In a short video posted on her Twitter timeline, Merab spoke with Emmanuel Yegon, the Co-founder and Communications Director at Mobile Journalism African. She reveals she has lived with sickle cells for 18 years.

“In 18 years, I have gone to hospitals in search of care… for sickle cell, and I have been able to successfully get that care in very few places”, says Merab.

Sickle cells anaemia is a group of disorders that cause red blood cells to become misshapen and break down.

With sickle cell disease, an inherited group of disorders, red blood cells contort into a sickle shape. The cells die early, leaving a shortage of healthy red blood cells and can block blood flow causing pain – sickle cell crisis.

Infections, pain and fatigue are symptoms of sickle cell disease.

Treatments include medication, blood transfusions and rarely a bone-marrow transplant.

She shares her journey through expensive private hospitals.

“What sickle cell does, if you are anxious it is likely to trigger those painful crises… you have to experience emotions in moderation,” she says.

Unfortunately, for Merab, the triggers have been so frequent and intense due to financial and mental impacts on her.

“At times, it chips away parts of who you are and if you don’t have a support system you can just chip away into oblivion,” she adds.

For her work in medical journalism, Merab has received six awards, fellowships, and several notable mentions.

Watch the full video here from 4:00 pm, 22nd October 2021.

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