More than 150 basic school pupils in Ablekuma North Constituency in Accra have benefited from free Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) screening.

The free screening was organised by the Ghana Foundation for Sickle Gene Action in collaboration with the Ablekuma North Health Directorate, which formed part of activities to commemorate World Sickle Cell Day 2024, on the theme: ‘Hope Through Progress, Advancing Care Globally’.

The schools that benefited from the activity included Saleria 1 and 2 Basic Schools in the Ablekuma North District.

The Foundation also educated the pupils and staff of the schools on SCD.

According to research, SCD is a hereditary disease which affects the heamoglobin.

Persons living with the condition experience pain and other complicated issues but with the intervention of modern treatment, such individuals are able to live healthy lives. 

In Ghana, about 15,000 babies, out of all babies born annually are diagnosed with SCD. Early detection reduces mortality.

Mrs. Mary Lamptey, National Nurs
e Coordinator for Newborn Screening Programme for SCD Sickle Cell Foundation of Ghana, expressed concern that out of 24 screening sites, only three of them were functioning as at December 2022

The facilities include Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, 37 Military Hospital and the Greater Accra Regional Hospital. 

Mrs. Lamptey who is also an Advisory Board Member for the Ghana Foundation for Sickle Gene Action, appealed to the government to expand the newborn screening facilities to help save more lives. 

Madam Victoria Awo Twumasi, The Executive Director of the Foundation, said the global theme reminded everyone that there was hope for sickle cell warriors as the world advanced in its research to find better ways to fight the disease. 

‘There is treatment for SCD, and we are grateful to the government of Ghana for the efforts in providing Hydroxyurea through the National Health Insurance Scheme.’

Madam Twumasi said the Foundation had plans to sponsor 100 patients in paying their medical bills for one year and ho
ped to expand in future.

Dr. Valeria Osei Tutu, Health Director at Ablekuma North Municipality, expressed appreciation to the Foundation for the gesture and called for more of such programmes. 

 Mr. Perry Ofori, Director of Education, Ablekuma North, commended the management of Ghana Foundation for Sickle Gene Action and encouraged other organisations to emulate such efforts.

SGA is also partnering with the Paediatric SCD Clinic at Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital to create awareness to empower and strengthen patients through support group mobilisation. 

Source: Ghana News Agency

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