10,000 newborns to get free screening for sickle cell disease annually

The Sickle Cell Foundation of Ghana has launched a free newborn screening for sickle cell disease in two hospitals in the Greater Accra Region.

The exercise, which will take place at the Greater Accra Regional and the 37 Military hospitals, is being supported by the American Society of Hematology, as part of efforts to help identify babies with sickle cell diseases and save their lives.

It is targeting 10,000 babies annually for the next five years with the aim of improving the health of infants with the disease.

President of the Foundation, Professor Kweku Ohene-Frempong, said the initiative, is a public health intervention aimed at the early identification of certain conditions with babies to reduce associated mortality, morbidity and disabilities.

Sickle cell is a group of disorders that cause red blood cells to break down.

Symptoms of sickle cell disease include infections, pain and fatigue, which can be treated with medications, blood transfusions and rarely a bone-marrow transplant.

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