Dr Paul Enin, the Chief Executive Officer of Airport Women’s Hospital, has called for more support for sickle cell patients to improve their quality of life.
Sickle cell is a blood related condition where the hemoglobin inside red blood cells sticks or clumps together, causing the cell to become fragile, rigid, and crescent—or sickle.
He said sickle cell was a chronic disease, which put a lot of financial burden on families and as such government providing support would help alleviate the unending plight of relatives.
Dr Enin made the call when G.N.S Foundation, a nongovernmental organisation, organised sickle cell screening and awareness creation for inmates and management of South Labone Girls Vocational
Training Center in Accra to commemorate the 2022 World Sickle Cell Day.
The 2022 World Sickle Cell Disease Day was on the theme; “Sickle Cell Disorder: Importance of Self Care.”
He said though the Government had done “something” for sickle cell patients in the country, more needed to be done.
Dr Sylvester Annan Mensah, the Medical Officer, Ghana Institute of Clinical Genetics, Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, educated the inmates and participants on blood groups and sickle cell.
“Sickle cell disease is an inherited red blood cell disorder that changes the normal shape of the red blood cell to look like a crescent shape farm tool called sickle, given it the name sickle cell,” he explained.
He said in Africa, sickle cell disease (SCD) was a major public health problem with over 200,000 babies born per year.
In Ghana, approximately 15,000 babies (two per cent) are born with sickle cell disease every year.
He educated the girls on the several types of sickle cell disease, saying the most common were Sickle Cell Anaemia (SS), Sickle Haemoglobin-C Disease (SC), Sickle Beta-Plus Thalassemia and Sickle Beta-Zero Thalassemia and urged Ghanaians to know their sickle cell statuses to avoid future complications.
He again called on the public to support people with sickle cell disease to do away with stigma.
Mrs Sandra Amponsah Ayivor, the Executive Director of G.N.S Foundation, entreated parents who had children with sickle cell disease to come out freely and seek treatment to enable them to live longer.
Mrs Gifty Tekpor, the Manageress of the Center, commending the NGO for the initiative, called for support to enable them take care of the girls.
About 100 girls in the facility were screened for sickle cell.
G.N.S Foundation is a Non-Governmental Organization (N.G.O) specialising in sickle cell management and associated haematological diseases, Orphanages and Disability assistance, Youth and Women (Kayayo Antenatal) support as well as empowerment.
World Sickle Cell Day is marked annually on June 19 to help increase public knowledge and awareness of the disease, one of the main causes of death in children under the age of five in Africa.