Health News Sunday, June 23, 2019
A health walk was organized to increase awareness of sickle cell disease.
A Grace Amoh , A doctor at the Ghanaian Institute of Clinical Genetics (Sickle Cell Clinic), warned the general public against discrimination against people with sickle cell disease (SCD).
She said the disease was a genetic blood disorder that could be prevented and managed, but still today There are still a number of misconceptions, some of which even call "evil powers."
Dr Amoh, who spoke to Spiegel during the celebration of the Day of Sickle Covenant awareness last Wednesday, said that people living with SCD living, are faced with a lot of health and emotional challenges, which is why such a stigma the burden on individuals and Affected families only increased.
Contrary to some beliefs that people with this disease had a short life, she found that joke h Family support These people could lead a long and liveable life if the disease were diagnosed early and treated properly.
What is sickle cell disease?
SCD is an inherited blood disorder that affects red blood cells ̵
Unlike people without the disease, whose red blood cells are rounder and more flexible, people with the disease have stiff and sickle-shaped red blood cells making the distribution of oxygen more difficult.
This can lead to pain events known as crises with symptoms such as foot and hand swelling, and can also damage organs in the body.
Dr. Amoh said that they also advocate a comprehensive approach to care for people with the disease.
In most cases, the disease was diagnosed when it reached an advanced stage, making it difficult to manage.
"Some health care facilities are providing neonatal check-ups so their status can be tracked early. In addition, we need a national policy and a plan to fight the disease. "
This included appropriate facilities and trained personnel, appropriate diagnostic tools and treatments for patients with SCD.
Do you know your status?
SCD is passed through the bloodline of the people who have it. It is possible that humans have only one sickle cell gene, so they do not have the disorder themselves. These individuals may pass on this gene to their children who are at risk of disease if their partner also has the gene.
Dr. Amoh pointed out that it is important for partners to know their status before deciding on a child decision.  "Most parents of the patients we looked after had no idea of their status before birth. Sickle cell gene carriers are healthy, and therefore, they are hard-hit most of the time when they find that their children are suffering from the disease.
"Our goal is to raise awareness and inform people about their status before we have children. On some days some churches insist that future couples check their status before marriage.
"In the past, the crescent test was the most common test, but now we recommend hemoglobin electrophoresis, a blood test in which different types of proteins, called hemoglobin, are measured in your red blood cells.
"A simple sickle test will only select someone with hemoglobin, but does not give the actual genetic make-up," he explained.
Not an Easy Journey
Ms. Rosalind Amoh, a journalist, had gone to a routine check-up for her four-month-old baby, the last of her three children, when he was diagnosed with SCD.
She relates that her son, now 10 years old, showed no signs of the disease until he started to crawl and move.
She said the journey was exhausting and challenging as the boy, at the age of five, had to undergo a splenectomy, an operation to remove the entire spleen, as it did not function properly.
"He had a very severe crisis, but two years ago he was fortunate enough to be given some medications and he was a bit more stable.
"I am always ready to share our experiences and advise people to know their status before deciding to have children.
"It's emotionally, physically and financially exhausting. If you do not have support, you will collapse. Depending on the severity of the crisis, you could be hospitalized for two weeks or more, and in that time as a parent you will not be able to work and you will also deprive your other children of caregiving, "she said.
Fortunately, her son is always able to catch up with his classmates despite the many days of the crisis