The Director of Holy Covenant Health Center, Dr. Osei Brown has revealed that over 18,000 children in Ghana are born with Sickle Cell Diseases (SCD) annually as research revealed.
Sickle Cell Disease (SCD), according to Dr. Brown, is a genetic blood disease that occurs when a group of conditions is characterized by the presence of hemoglobin S (HbS) and one other abnormal hemoglobin.
The genotypes associated with Hb SS and Hb SC are dominant in the sickle cell disease in Ghana and form part of a large proportion of newborns associated with the disease.
The disease, he said, cannot be managed based on its genetic nature and through that patients can live up to 30 to 35 years.
“Apart from its root blood nature, children can also be affected by breast feeding through the use of pomade that contains chemicals, drinking of river water.”
“Patients are normally advised to stay out of dust, smoke and things that will expose them to these health hazards.”
Dr. Brown, who is a specialist in Sickle Cells treatment, revealed that his outfit has treated over 400 patients with Sickle Cells Disease with the support of individuals like Nana K. B and Hon. Francia Oteng Adjei, MP for Kwabre East Constituency and the Holy Covenant Health Center.
Reports reveal that 2-5% newborn babies are affected by SCD and one to three Ghanaians have the hemoglobin S or C gene as a means of preventing the disease. He urged government and the Ministry of Health to recommend parent diagnosis in all Marriage Registry Offices in the country to ensure that couples are thoroughly screened for their health status before the marriage to reduce the rampant increase of Sickle Cells Disease in children.
According to him, the World Health Organization (WHO) report has it that 5.2% of the world’s population and over 7% of pregnant women carry an abnormal haemoglobin gene.
The SCD, he said, mostly occurs in Sub-Saharan Africa where malaria endemic is on the increase.
His outfit, he said, has rolled out an education campaign on Sickle Cells Disease to educate the public on the need to screen their health status before getting married to ensure people become abreast with the causes.
He noted that government over the years has tried hard to provide drugs to sustain patients and appealed to the state to invest enough funds into hospitals to enable them take proper care of patients and as well enforce the health institutions to ensure couples are screened before getting married.
By Benjamin Asalimba