Close this search box.

World Sickle Cell Day 2024: Raising awareness and tackling healthcare challenges in Ghana


By: Nana Kwame Bediako 

On Tuesday 19th June, 2024, World Sickle Cell Day was commemorated globally with a special focus on advancing care, education, and equity in healthcare, under the banner “Hope Through Progress: Advancing Care Globally.”

The theme underscored the critical need for accessible and equitable healthcare across Ghana, emphasizing the need to heighten awareness of Sickle Cell Disease (SCD), assess its current impact, and tackle the ongoing challenges posed by this genetic disorder.

The event served as a poignant reminder to continue efforts in breaking a cycle that significantly affects individuals and communities, not just in Ghana but worldwide.

Sickle Cell Disease remains a major health challenge, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa, where an estimated 75% of the global burden of the disease is concentrated.

Alarmingly, around 300,000 newborns are diagnosed with SCD each year, and without the necessary medical intervention, 50% to 90% of these infants die before reaching the age of five. This high mortality rate is largely attributed to the lack of affordable, comprehensive healthcare services in the region. 

In a significant advancement, Ghana has taken a bold step by incorporating Hydroxyurea into its National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS). This medication, which has shown effectiveness in managing SCD, brings new hope to countless individuals suffering from the disease.

Hydroxyurea’s inclusion marks a milestone in Ghana’s healthcare, aiming to reduce mortality and improve the quality of life for those affected. However, while this is a significant stride forward, the journey towards establishing a fully comprehensive sickle cell disease management system accessible to all is incomplete. 

The Sickle Cell Disease Support Group (SCDSG) has been instrumental in highlighting the pressing issues and obstacles faced by those with Sickle Cell Disease in Ghana.

On the World Sickle Cell Day, the group amplified its voice, bringing to light the daily struggles of individuals living with SCD and advocating for better healthcare policies and support systems. SCDSG’s efforts complement the national initiatives, underscoring the importance of community and grassroots movements in driving change and fostering a supportive environment for those affected by the disease.

As the world marks another World Sickle Cell Day, the call to action is clear. There is an imperative need to continue raising awareness, improving healthcare access, and investing in research and treatments for Sickle Cell Disease.

The progress made should inspire optimism and commitment to further advancements, ensuring that hope through progress is not just a theme, but a reality for individuals and families grappling with SCD.

More stories here

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *