Upper West to get sickle cell clinic, counseling facility

The Upper West Region will soon benefit from a Sickle Cell Clinic and counselling Unit.

The facility, which is being set up by Sickle Cell Condition Advocates (SICCA) a non-governmental organization in collaboration with the Government of Ghana is expected to support sickle cell patients to live longer and contribute to the development of society.

Madam Charlotte Owusu, the Founder of SICCA, who disclosed this at a sickle cell sensitization forum in Wa said the facility when set up would be managed by the Social Welfare Department.

She noted that the sickle cell disease was the fastest growing disease in the world affecting about two percent of the population in areas where it was found.

Again “about 80 to 90 percent of children who die of sickle cell die of infection”, she said.

Madam Charlotte defined the sickle cell condition as the passing on of abnormal haemoglobin to a child by the parents.

Sickle cell is a common disease in Africa, India, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean Basin.

She said according to a study conducted by a sickle cell organization in Kumasi, about 75 percent of the Ghana’s population have normal blood cells while the remaining 25 percent have abnormal blood cells.

She explained that the normal cells passed through the blood vessels easily while the abnormal ones find it difficult to pass through the blood vessels, thereby, causing a lot of pain to the sickle cell patient.

The effects of the disease she noted include anemia, jaundice, repeated infection, chronic leg ulcer, damage to some organs, stroke, delay in growth and severe bone, joint, chest and abdominal pains.

The SICCA founder said despite the alarming situation of the disease, very few people had knowledge about the condition.

Madam Charlotte said it was in view of this that her organization was collaborating with the government to educate the public about the disease.

She said activities of the campaign include training programmes for health personnel and volunteers, sensitization workshops for basic schools, faith groups as well as a blood donation exercise to create public awareness.

Madam Charlotte urged the staff of the Information Services Department, Social Welfare, Ghana Education Service (GES) and the media to help carry the message to the people.

She advised young men and women to go for sickle cell tests to know their status so that they could choose the right partners that would enable them give birth to healthy babies.

Source: GNA

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