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Health News of Saturday, 19 June 2021

Source: GNA

Government asked to absorb cost of laboratory tests for Sickle Cell patients

World Sickle Cell Awareness Day World Sickle Cell Awareness Day

As the world marks World Sickle Cell Awareness Day on Saturday, a Non-Governmental Organization is calling on government to absorb the cost of laboratory test for patients.

Lemuel Hearts Foundation which is dedicated to awareness creation of the genetic disease, believes the absorption of the laboratory costs would increase access to medication and prolong the lives of patients.

Dr. Yvonne Senam Woyome, Founder and Executive Director of the Foundation who made the call, said the numerous laboratory test by Sickle Cell patients was a challenge to many patients from poor families.

She was speaking at an outreach programme to create awareness of the disease at Oman in the Bosomtwe District ahead of the World Sickle Cell Awareness Day.

The international awareness day is observed annually with the goal of increasing knowledge and understanding of the disease, and the challenges experienced by patients, their families and caregivers.

It is against this background that the Foundation organised the outreach programme to educate the community on Sickle Cell as a way of awareness creation.

Dr Woyome said Ghana had not done much in terms of awareness creation and stressed the need for Sickle Cell to be brought to the forefront of national conversations considering the stress and anxieties families were going through.

She revealed that an alarming two per cent of all live births in Ghana annually had sickle cell, adding that Ghana was one of the sickle cell endemic countries in the world and it was worrying that Hydroxyurea which brought some hope to Sickle Cell patients was going to be taken off the National Health Insurance (NHIS) drug list by August, this year.

She appealed to the Ministry of Health to intervene and keep the medicine on the NHIS drug list.

Dr. Woyome, who is also a Physician at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital advised against the reliance on traditional medicine in treating sickle cell.

Hundreds of residents who patronised the programme were screened and medication provided for those who required them.

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