The Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Sickle Cell Condition Advocates (SICCA), Mrs. Charlotte Owusu, has said that the only way to get rid of the Sickle Cell Condition (SCC) is by pre-conception screening of prospective couples.
According to her, since the condition can only be inherited from one’s biological parents, it is very necessary for individuals to take into consideration the Sickle Cell status of their prospective spouses when choosing their life partners to prevent the likelihood of giving birth to children with SCC.
Mrs. Owusu said this on Friday, August 10, 2018, when she gave a presentation on the Sickle Cell Condition during the morning devotion service of Staff of The Church of Pentecost Headquarters at La in Accra.
Sickle Cell Disease is a hereditary blood disorder that occurs when a person inherits two abnormal copies of the Haemoglobin gene, one from each parent. People with sickle cell condition produce unusually shaped red blood cells that can cause problems because they don’t live as long as healthy blood cells and they can become stuck in blood vessels. The condition is known to be common in the African, American and Mediterranean regions.
In her presentation, Mrs. Owusu stressed the urgent need for appropriate steps to be taken to deal with the Sickle Cell condition. As a mother of a child with SCC, Mrs. Owusu explained that prevention of the Sickle Cell Condition is the most appropriate measure due to the huge toll that comes with managing the condition.
She mentioned stigmatization and drain on family and state finances as some of the social effects of sickle cell diseases. “Some SSC patients are not able to go through school as expected whiles others are not able to sustain a regular job,” she added.
Mrs. Charlotte Owusu therefore called on prospective couples to take the necessary steps to find out their Sickle Cell status before they tie the knot.
“In this age where there is adequate information about the Sickle Cell Condition, we should not be ‘blinded by love’ into getting married without taking into consideration the implications of SCC on our future, that of our children and the entire country. This is very important because it is not easy to live or cope with the Sickle Cell Condition,” she said.
To those living with SCC, Mrs. Owusu advised them to take folic acid supplements along with other medications prescribed by medical officials and to ensure personal hygiene. She also urged them to increase their fluid intake, undertake regular checkups, and take enough rest.
Mrs. Charlotte Owusu also called on parents and persons whose relations have SCC, to be supportive and not to look down on them. She said that SCC patients, when given the needed care and attention, could grow up to become useful members of society.
She also called on the government to put in place policies and conditions to improve the treatment and prevention of SCC in the country. She also appealed for emergency healthcare services for SCC patients and public education about the Sickle Cell Condition.
Mrs. Charlotte Owusu said her outfit is always available to any organisation or group of people who would require more information or education about SCC as part of efforts to create awareness about the condition across the country.