- Current statistics show that the prevalence rate for Sickle Cell Disease in Ghana is about 25 per cent
- Sickle Cell affects millions of people around the world including adults and children
It has been revealed that over 15,000 babies are born with the sickle cell disease in Ghana every year.
This is according to the founder of Sickle Life, Dr. Enam Bankas, who lamented the growing rate of sickle cell babies.
According to her, despite the public education, over one thousand children are born with the ailment on monthly basis.
“The truth is that on yearly basis we have about 15,000 babies born with the disease and it’s worrying that all these young ones are going to grow up and go through all that difficulty. Sickle Cell patients have a particular mutation in the Red Blood Cell. Instead of their red blood cells having the shape of a ‘doughnut’, they tend to be like that of a ‘sickle’. People associate sickle cell disease to pain around parts of the body,” Dr. Banks told Accra-based Starr FM.
She urged couples to check their statuses before eventually getting married in order to have healthy babies.
This, she said, is the best way to avoid giving birth to children with sickle cell. She added that persons with the sickle cell disease should not be stigmatized against.
“Sickle Cell disease can be avoided. You need to get tested to know your sickling status. When you know your sickling status, make sure you know the status of whoever you end up marrying as well.
“I don’t understand why people stigmatize people who have sickle cell. People assume that if you have sickle cell disease, it means the patients or their parents have offended a god or something. It is a myth.”
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Using herself as testimony, Dr. Bankas said the perception that people living with the disease are bound for death is totally false.
She urged Ghanaians to check their statuses, explaining that there is no charge when one wants to test.
The sickle cell disease can be inherited from a person’s parents and the most common type is known as sickle cell anaemia (SCA).
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