Achimota School receives support for sickle cell students
The International Sickle Cell Centre (ISCC), a non-profit organisation geared towards creating awareness of sickle cell disease (SCD), has partnered with Tobinco Pharmaceuticals Limited to supply the Achimota School with some medication for students living with SCD.
The move, which is under ISCC's Choices For the Future Initiative, is to educate the public on SCD and provide the required medical support for students with SCD.
The supply and donation of the drugs was held at the school in Accra last Wednesday and was also used to launch the Sickle Cell Support Group to educate students on what SCD is and how it can be managed.
The Founder and Director of ISCC, Dr Mary Ansong, said for many years, SCD had claimed many innocent lives in the country, adding that there were currently over 18,000 children born with SCD.
She said apart from the disease being a critical one, the cultural beliefs that were attached to it affected families in diverse ways, which negatively impacted many lives.
"Research has shown that the current statistics we have would double by 2050 if the sickle cell cycle is not
We, therefore, organised the Choices of the Future Initiative to create more advocacy on SCD and provide students with SCD all the needed support, especially since September is sickle cell awareness month," she said.
The Co-founder of ISCC, Dr Martha Wiafe, said it was also surprising to know that most citizens were not cognisant of their genotype.
Again, she said because most people were not aware of their genotype, they ended up making reproductive decisions that sometimes run through generations.
"So Choices For the Future targets teenagers to imbibe in them the education and skills on how to manage sickle cell so that at a very young age, they'll have all the knowledge and information they need to live and have a normal life," she added.
She said the initiative also allowed persons with or without SCD to seek support and counselling on the sickle cell disease through what they called the sickle cell support group.
"The support group would help us provide continual education and offer the required medical support to needy students with SCD who cannot afford their medical care to ensure they live healthy lives," she said.
The Deputy Managing Director-Marketing for Tobinco Pharmaceuticals Limited, Dr Christopher Mensah, also stated that their partnership with ISCC was part of the company's corporate social responsibility (CSR) as well as its goal of ensuring that citizens lived healthy lives.
"At Tobinco, we have CSR ingrained in us and we realise that sickle cell is one area that has become prevalent.
Yet, it is not pushed and supported enough.
So we decided to partner with them and give all the support we can," he said.
The Student Health Coordinator of Achimota School, Peter Adjetey, expressed gratitude to ISCC and Tobinco for the initiative.
He said educating students on Sickle Cell had been absorbed by the Red Cross Society group in the school and promised that the drugs would be used solely for its purpose.
He further advised the students to champion the course and be ambassadors of sickle cell education wherever they find themselves.