World Sickle Cell Day is commemorated annually on the 19th June to draw attention to Sickle Cell Disease globally. In 2017, The Information Services Department (ISD), Obuasi district organized a number of events from Monday 19th to Friday 23rd June 2017 to draw attention to this condition within the district.
Under the theme, “KNOW YOUR SICKLE CELL STATUS NOW”, inhabitants of the district benefited from health education talks on radio stations and participated in a health walk through the major streets of the district. In addition to these a free health screening programme which included Sickle Cell testing (HB electrophoresis) was organized at the Obuasi Central mosque after a health education talk on sickle cell disease.
The Municipal Information Officer for the Obuasi Municipal Assembly, Mr. Sampson Manu explained that the ISD was interested in creating awareness about Sickle Cell Disease because statistics available to them from the Obuasi Health Directorate indicated a 100 percent increase in the number of new cases of Sickle Cell Disease in the municipality between 2015 and 2016. There were a total of 436 and 936 people respectively in the years under review. These findings he believed, were attributable to low public education on the condition, hence the interest of ISD to address the issue.
A total of 88 people benefited from the free sickle cell testing. Of these 61 people, representing 69.3% were AA. 14.8% and 9.1% of beneficiaries were AS and AC respectively. Thus, 23.9 % of beneficiaries had Sickle Cell Trait (AS/AC) and could pass on Sickle Cell disease to their offspring if not appropriately counseled. 2.3% were SS, 3.4% SC and 1.1% CC representing 6.8% haemoglobinopathies of which 6.8% were Sickle Cell Disease (SS/SC). Public education on Sickle Cell Disease continues in the district as the district works to reduce the number of new cases reported annually.
The Information Service is very grateful to the public for being receptive to the message as well as the media for assisting with publicity and public education. Sponsors and partners for these events were Anglogold Ashanti, Ghana Revenue Authority – Obuasi, Ghana Commercial Bank, Cofkans Hotel, Sickle Life, Medilab Diagnostic Services, PEV mineral water and Sinapi Aba Savings and loans. Individuals who played instrumental roles towards these events are Dr. Patrick Boakye Yiadom, Member of Parliament for the Obuasi East constituency, Hon. Elijah Adansi Bonah, Municipal Chief Executibe, Ahmed Yakubu and Kelvin Gyimah.