'Sickle-Cell Is Not A Curse'

The Sickle-Cell Association of Ghana has stated that the Sickle Cell Anaemia disease is not a curse, neither is it the fault of the parents.

A statement signed by Mr. Joseph Sarfo-Antwi, National Secretary, Sickle Cell Association of Ghana, and released to the Ghana News Agency (GNA), on Friday, said the condition, if properly and effectively managed, would allow patients to live long and fulfilling lives.

Sickle Cell Day is marked on June 19, worldwide every year.

The statement, however, explained that the mystery surrounding the disease in Ghana as being of a supernatural nature, resulting in a short life span; and presenting a financial drain, led to the stigmatisation of sickle-cell patients,

It said sickle-cell patients were generally discriminated against, labelled as ‘sickly’, and disqualified from social acceptance at all levels, even when they were bright and intelligent.

The Association, therefore, urged the public to show compassion and love to sickle-cell patients and, more importantly, work towards ensuring a comprehensive sickle-cell programme.

It also encouraged people, especially the youth, to know their sickle cell status to help them make informed decisions when choosing their partners.

The Association also urged government agencies, civil society, corporate bodies, churches, and individuals to support it in its efforts to combat the disease.