Nutrition In Sickle Cell Disease – 18th June 2021

Full Circle Fund is hosting the world’s first Nutrition in Sickle Cell Conference in collaboration with Claudine Matthews, a registered Dietitian and Nutrition Consultant in Sickle Cell in the UK.

By Tracey Di Lorenzo · June 7, 2021

In June 2021, timed for World Sickle Cell Day, we welcomed over 200 delegates from across the UK, United States, Canada, Africa and Australia, to hear global authority on nutrition in sickle cell, dietitian Claudine Matthews lead this world’s first conference. Here are just a few comments

“A phenomenal conference.”

“Thank you for this informative session – amazing.”

“Thank you to the organizers for setting this up – it is needed.”

“Really useful information, very well presented and explained by Claudine. I applaud your effort, contribution, and hard work.”

“Hopefully, this will help put a spotlight on – and begin to correct – this long-standing health inequality.”

Sickle cell disorder (SCD) is a complex, life-long, genetic red blood cell disorder in the UK affecting around 15,000 people, mostly of African or African-Caribbean origin, although the sickle gene is found in all ethnic groups1. SCD is characterised by repeated vaso-occlusive crises (VOCs), which cause severe pain, impact patients’ quality of life and increases the risk of organ damage, stroke, acute chest syndrome, blindness, bone damage and early death2. Annually in the UK, approximately 270 babies are born with the condition, globally the WHO estimates around 300,000 babies are born with severe forms of the disease.

Despite over 60 years of existing research into the role of nutrition in the holistic management of
the condition, nutrition is not always integrated into sickle cell healthcare provision. The nutrition landscape in sickle cell is affected by poor knowledge, a lack of awareness and understanding of the role of nutrition, which is amplified by a lack of evidence-based nutritional resources and nutrition services. However, the time for change is now!

For this reason, this FREE online conference aims to achieve the following:

  1. Provide you with an overview of the existing scientific literature and new research perspectives on the topic
  2. Recognise the importance of the patients VOICE and their role in changing the nutrition landscape in sickle cell
  3. Explain the nutritional implications of sickle cell and the need to integrate nutrition into sickle cell healthcare provision.

About Claudine Matthews. Claudine has worked in the NHS as a qualified Dietitian for over 13 years as a Dietetic Practice Educator/Lecturer and currently works as a Health and Wellbeing Dietitian in a primary care network. She has expertise in a range of health conditions, and has a special interest in Personal Leadership Empowerment/Behaviour Change, dedicating the last 7 years to pioneering the nutrition landscape in sickle cell disease. Claudine has published a number of articles on the topic and has authored the worlds first National Nutrition Standards for Sickle Cell, commissioned by the Sickle Cell Society. Claudine holds a master’s degree in Healthcare Education and Clinical Leadership and is currently in her 5th year of a Professional Doctorate degree, focussing on integrating nutrition into sickle cell healthcare provision

Claudine passionately left us with the words of Maya Angelou ringing in our ears: “Stand up strong and remember who you are, that you tower over your circumstances.”

Who is this conference for? Haematologists, doctors, clinical psychologists, health psychologists, researchers, nurses, dietitians, sickle cell patients aged 15 years +, and parents/carers of babies or children with sickle cell.