15 June 2007

Ghana: Sickle Cell Patients Call for National Policy On the Disease

Accra — The Sickle Cell Disease Association of Ghana (SCDAG) has appealed to the government to develop a national policy for Sickle Cell Disease(SCD).

Dr. K. E. Appiah, National President of the Association, made the appeal at a forum to mark this year's "Africa Day for Sickle Cell Disease" attended by medical students and practitioners, student nurses and members of SCDAG.

He said parents, especially, the single mothers are having many psycho-social and financial problems because of its chronic nature and repeated recurrence of the disease.

"The disease is a chronic one that takes a big toll on both the sufferers and their parents - financially, emotionally and psychologically," he explained.

Dr. Appiah said there was an urgent need for the government to address itself to the p-light of the sufferers of the genetic disease, which after all afflicts them through no fault of theirs, but through their parents.

"A genetic disease which affects 2 percent of all new born babies ashas been scientifically established, needs the attention of any government that is seriously concerned with the health of its citizens", he observed.

Furthermore, he said, "a disease which has a carrier rate of about 25 percent in some communities of the population is a serious disease to reckon with by any serious government."

The Sickle Cell President expressed the hope that with the formation of a sickle cell foundation of Ghana, a special centre would be built in the country to cater for solely the Genetic Disease in the country.

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