In Africa, sickle cell disease (SCD) is a major public health problem with over 200,000 babies born per year. In Ghana, approximately 15,000 (2%) of Ghanaian newborns are diagnosed with SCD annually.

Sherita Pondey, a co-founder of Sickle Cell Warrior Foundation, on Friday, December 9, 2020, donated items to the sickle department of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra.

The items, which included a water dispenser, also came with a package, containing a hot water bottle, deep heat, folic acid, filtered water bottles and some other items.

The foundation was established by the late Yasmin Pondey Okudjeto, who unfortunately lost her life to Sickle cell, last year.

According to Sherita Pondey, the aim of the foundation is to create awareness of sickle cell, give the patients care packages, and also encourage them and let them know that there’s this NGO around to help them.

She said the hot water bottle is to keep the patients warm, the folic acid tablets to raise their hemoglobin level and the filtered water bottle is to make their water safer.

The Medical Officer in charge of the facility, Dr. Simon Egyiin, and the Principal nursing officer, Selina Crabbe jointly received the items.

Dr Eggyiin said the hospital is much grateful for the efforts being made by the sickle cell warriors and the continuous gesture and their visits.

“We really appreciate the efforts being put in place by the sickle cell warriors; I think they are doing a lot…the kind of gestures and also anytime you come around from time to time… We cannot even payback, and on behalf of the department and the patients I would like to say thank you for your time.” Dr. Simon Egyiin said.

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Principal nursing officer, Selina Crabbe, for her part, also expressed gratitude to the foundation, so, “On behalf of the department, she is most grateful for what you have done.’

She added that this is not the first time they’ve been supporting the unit.

In an interview, the mother of Yasmin Pondey Okudjeto, Mrs. Madinat Okudjeto, noted that from her experience, early recognition and referral of sickle cell-related complications can reduce morbidity and mortality associated with this disease.

A multidisciplinary approach to care of SCD patients is therefore important.

She advised that all must check their sickle cell status.

The items were later distributed to both in and outpatients of the department.

The group also visited the 37 hospital sickle cell unit.

Credit: Theodore M. Viwotor

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