“Sickle Cell, Jamaica and Beyond” book presented to National Library of Jamaica

Professor Emeritus Graham Serjeant is one of those people from overseas who came to Jamaica “for a year or two” and ended up remaining for decades. I know a few of those! Now, in recognition of World Sickle Cell Day (June 19) the Professor presented two copies of his book of memoirs and thoughts to the National Library of Jamaica.

The Sickle Cell Unit at the University of the West Indies in Kingston conducted a study between 1973 and 1981, which concluded, among other findings, that 15% of Jamaican adults are at risk of having a child with Sickle Cell Disease and that 1 in every 150 Jamaicans are born with Sickle Cell Disease, which is hereditary and not contagious. It is caused by abnormally shaped red blood cells, and it is extremely painful. Read more about it here on the National Health Fund of Jamaica’s excellent website and also in this interview with the current head of the Unit, Professor Jennifer Knight-Madden. 

The National Library of Jamaica reports that it recently added copies of Sickle Cell, Jamaica and Beyond to the national collection. The books were deposited by Professor Emeritus, Graham Serjeant.

Professor Emeritus, Graham Serjeant presented copies of the semi-autobiographical work entitled ‘Sickle Cell, Jamaica, and Beyond’ to the National Library of Jamaica on Tuesday, June 15, 2021. The books were received ahead of World Sickle Cell Day which is commemorated on June 19 each year.

Graham Serjeant and his wife Beryl, a haematology technologist, first came to Jamaica for a year in 1966 and quickly became involved in developing services for patients with sickle cell disease through the Department of Medicine and later, the Sickle Cell Unit at the University of the West Indies, Mona. 

Over the next 50 years, his clinics grew to serve over 5,500 patients throughout the island. As a result, he contributed to making Jamaica the first country in the world to have extensive new-born screening for sickle cell disease. These Jamaican-pioneered models of care have been widely replicated in other developing countries.  The development of the body of research, patient services and their far-reaching impact are chronicled in the most recently deposited publication. Researchers may access Sickle Cell, Jamaica and Beyond by contacting Ian Randle Publishers at www.ianrandlepublishers.com  or via the National Library of Jamaica, 12 East Street, Kingston by way of appointment.

The Legal Deposit Act of 2002 mandates that Jamaican authors deposit copies of their work at the National Library of Jamaica for protection and posterity. To make your legal deposit or donation visit https://nlj.gov.jm/legaldeposit/.

Professor Emeritus, Graham Serjeant (centre), joined by Ms Christine Randle, Managing Director, Ian Randle Publishers (left), deposits copies of his publication to Ms. Keisha Myers, Manager, Collection Development, NLJ. (Photo: National Library of Jamaica)

More information on National Library of Jamaica:

The National Library of Jamaica is an Agency of the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport and is Jamaica’s premiere reference library preserving and promoting Jamaican heritage and culture.  Explore their wealth of information and resources on their website here.

If there are any queries or further questions, please contact:

Ms. Keisha Myers

Manager, Collection Development

E-mail: keisha.myers@nlj.gov.jm

Mobile: (876) 295-3661


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