Olusegun Obasanjo Foundation hosts Sickle Cell workshop in June

The Olusegun Obasanjo Foundation, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Ghana Health Service, is to host a Sickle Cell workshop to identify and bridge gaps in the management of the disease in Ghana.

According to the Ghana Health Service (GHS), close to 16,000 or two per cent of newborn babies yearly in Ghana have the sickle cell disease while 20 per cent of all new born babies have the sickle cell trait.

Sickle cell, a genetic disease transmitted from parents to their children, causes stressful situation for both parents, patients and governments in the management and care of sickle cell patients.

Ms Anne Welsh, Chairperson of the Olusegun Obasanjo Foundation, on Friday, therefore, paid a courtesy call on the Deputy Health Minister to discuss and map out strategies for the workshop scheduled for June 19, 2013.

Ms Welsh said the workshop would feature both local and international experts who would share their experiences and lessons on how to manage sickle cell in the Ghana.

She said a United Kingdom company, Terumo BCT, which is currently undertaking the safe blood transfusion programme in Kumasi, under a project that sought to ensure safety of transfused blood to patients, would also attend the workshop to share its findings with participants.

Dr Alfred Sugri Tia, Deputy Minister of Health, said government seriously considered sickle cell one of the non-communicable diseases since it brought much strain on people and government alike.

He welcomed the Foundation for the collaboration and assured them of government’s support to help find relief for sickle cell patients and to reduce effect of the disease on people.

Mr Tia was hopeful that the workshop would help find solutions to early screening that would lead to correct diagnoses of the disease and to enable its easy identification and the right kind of assistance and treatment for people.

Dr Kyei Faried, Deputy Director and Head of Disease Control Programme of GHS, said the disease caused people much discomfort in their joints, clot their blood and affected their brains as well as caused stroke.

He, therefore, lauded the workshop and called for all to get on board to find a lasting solution and relief. GNA

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