About 15,000 newly born babies have sickle cell disease, National Nurse Coordinator for the National Newborn Screening Programme, Mary Ethel Lamptey has said.
Due to this, Sickle cell foundation of Ghana, a non-profitable organization has started the screening of newly borns to save their lives.
Speaking to GhanaWeb during a screening exercise at the Ussher Polylinic in Accra Friday, Mary Ethel Lamptey said “Newborn screening is here to save the lives of babies who are identified to have the disease through our work, we have realized that about 2 percent of babies born in Ghana have sickle cell disease. 2% maybe a small percentage but in terms of figures, we are talking about 15,000 babies born with sickle cell disease in this country and so if all of us are looking at reducing under 5 mortality, then this is a laudable initiative.”
The national newborn screening programme aims at providing universal coverage of all babies born in Korle-Bu Teaching hospital, as well as expanding the programme to all community healthcare institutions within the Greater Accra region.
Project coordinator, Irene Kanyoke noted that nurses undertaking the sickle cell exercise at the Ussher Polyclinic were engaged in a two-week training programme.
Meanwhile, the Foundation has hinted on extending its services to the Mamprobi polyclinic next year.