Give Serious Attention To Sickle Cell Treatment

Government has been urged to give serious attention to, and provide the needed facilities and logistics for the treatment and management of the sickle cell disease.

This is because about a quarter of the Ghanaian population was currently carrying the disease, and it was important that urgent attention was given to control its continued spread.

Dr Kwabena Osei-Tutu, Paediatric Specialist at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), who made the call at this year's World Sickle Day celebration in Kumasi, said the cost for diagnostic and treatment of the disease was currently very high for patients.

The theme for the celebration was: The Myths of Sickle Cell Disease, The Need To Increase Public Awareness.'
Dr Osei-Tutu, therefore, stressed the need for government to intervene and support patients to enable them have quality treatment of the disease.

He said the myth and misconceptions that the disease was witchcraft, or a curse and that patients had short life span, was making it difficult for patients to stay comfortably in society, while at the same time, preventing public support for the disease.

Dr Osei-Tutu stressed the need for increased public awareness and education on the disease, to disabuse the minds of the people on the misconceptions and generate public support for patients.

Mr Peter Mensah, President of the Sickle Cell Association of Ghana, (SCAG), praised the Ghana Health Service for introducing the newborn screening programme for early detection and treatment of the disease.

He disclosed that the Association, in partnership with the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), would soon launch the “know your status” campaign, to encourage more people to know their status.