Dr Paul Enin, Chief Executive Officer at the Women’s Hospital, Airport, Accra, has called on parents to check their genotypes before childbirth.
He said most often, people fail to check their genotypes and this at times could ruin their future and that of their children.
Dr Enin made the call at a Sickle Cell awareness creation and screening, organised by the GNS Foundation at La-Bawaleshie, a suburb in Accra.
Dr Enin said many parents had become overburdened with sickle cell children who were undergoing crisis and its related effects.
Sickle Cell disease is a group of disorders that cause red blood cells to become A group of disorders that cause red blood cells to become deformed and break down.
The disease is a hereditary trait and symptoms usually include infections, pain, and fatigue due to low blood levels and patients are prone to multiple episodes of crises, resulting in frequent hospital visits.
Treatments include medication, blood transfusions and rarely a bone-marrow transplant.
According to statistics, two per cent of babies born in Sub Saharan Africa are born with the Sickle Cell disease annually and Ghana is not an exception.
Dr Enin said it was necessary for individuals to make informed decisions by checking their genotypes before getting together as a couple and childbirth to reduce the number of children born with the disease and its effects on children, parents, and society at large.
Dr Sylvester Mensah, a Medical Officer said that awareness creation with regards to Sickle Cell disease had been very low in the country, considering the increasing number of patients being born annually.
Dr Mensah said getting to know one’s genotype was necessary to avoid having more babies with the disease.
He said with the advancement in research and medication, patients with the disease could live a normal life with good medication and strict hygienic conditions.
Dr Kwame Dzikunu, President of Health CEOs and Scientists, called on the government to support sickle cell patients in the country.
Mrs Sandra Amponsah-Ayivor, Executive Director GNS Foundation said her passion to help give back to society had led to an advocacy to create strong awareness among the public to know more about the disease and the necessary precautions.
She said: “We all know about sickle Cell disease but information about the disease is very low. We are creating more awareness making sure that people get to know their genotype so that we will avoid having sickle cell babies in the future and help the younger generation reach their potential in life.”
Mrs Amponsah-Ayivor called on individuals, organisations, and corporate institutions to support the foundation achieve its objectives.
As part of the Sickle Cell Awareness Month this September, about 150 school children were educated and screened to determine their genotypes.
The GNS Foundation is a non-governmental charitable organisation with the objective of raising awareness of sickle cell disease in the country.
The Foundation, since 2016 has organised a series of activities including donation of computers and laboratory consumables to sickle cell clinics and payment of medical bills for sickle cell patients, among others.
Okyeame Kwame, a popular Ghanaian highlife musician and an actor, Kofi Adorlolo were at the programme to grace the occasion and to support the sickle cell advocacy.