Vodafone Ghana Foundation in collaboration with Sickle Life, a sickle cell awareness group, and other partners have organised a sickle cell status check and blood donation exercise for over 150 persons to mark ‘World Sickle Cell Day’.
World Sickle Cell Day is marked on June 19 to create awareness on the medical condition by providing education and information on it with the aim of empowering people to make informed decisions.
Dr Sefakor Enam Bankas, Founder of Sickle Life said “Statistics has shown that one in every four Ghanaian have sickle cell traits, which gives them the ability to pass it on to their children; every year, 2% of children born in the country, constituting 15,000, have sickle cell disease”.
Dr Bankas said the disease is preventable with education, testing and counselling. “The purpose for undertaking such a step is to reduce a disease that is affecting the lives, and talk to the people about the disease so that people with negative cultural perception about the disease can be corrected”, the Sickle Life founder said.
Daniel Kissi Asiedu, a Corporate Communications official at Vodafone Ghana said Vodafone Ghana, under its Employee Volunteerism Project (EVP) is supporting the sickle cell initiative to reduce the alarming effect of sickle cell disease on human lives.
“The Foundation is embarking on an awareness campaign of adolescents with sickle cell to educate them living with sickle cell, its causes and effects as well as its management” he said.
Dr Anthony Anemana, House Officer of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital with a sickle cell trait, urged family and friends of persons with the disease to show love and care to them.
“Through good social and family support, people with sickle cell can make it in life. As a child with sickle cell, I received direction from my parents all through basic school. I started encountering many difficulties when I started managing my own social life in senior high school. That was when I started developing a problem with my lower limb that gradually affected my way of movement” he said.
The exercise was supported by the Ghana Institute of Clinical Genetics, ROCA, the Southern Area Blood Bank and Sickle Cell Association of Ghana.