Telecommunications network, AirtelTigo in partnership with the International Sickle Cell Centre (ISCC) yesterday launched a sickle cell educational campaign in Accra.
To be pioneered on the wing of the network’s flagship Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), “AirtelTigo Touching Lives,” the campaign aimed at raising awareness on the Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) and its impact, as well as to empower persons living with the condition.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO), AirtelTigo, Mr Leo Skarlatos said AirtelTigo Touching Lives was focused on areas including health, education, social wellbeing, among others for which reason the network was excited to partner the ISCC for the campaign.
He emphasised that SCD affected lots of people but was relatively unknown to the people, adding that the “condition can interfere with many aspects of the patients’ lives, including their education, employment, and psychosocial development.”
Mr Skarlatos noted that AirtelTigo was hopeful that airing the generated episodes that featured real-life stories of individuals and families battling the condition,
would send a message of hope to others living with SCD.
“It is our hope to ultimately help reduce the stigma around SCD whiles empowering and touching the lives of affected individuals,” he added.
Dr Mary Ansong, Founder, ISCC indicated that SCD was prevalent in the country, with one in three Ghanaians being carriers of the AS or AC genotype and 18,000 children born annually with the disease.
Unfortunately, she said many parents only discovered their sickle cell genotype after the birth of a precious child with the condition.
“Nonetheless, SCD is not a death sentence. With early diagnosis, treatment, education and a supportive community, people living with the condition can enjoy full and healthy lives,” she added.
Dr Ansong said that, the centre since its inception in March 2021 had screened 528 people from over 12 communities for their sickle cell genotype.
“We also provided genetic counselling to all as well as offered the needed medical support to some affected individuals. Furthermore, the ISCC has educated close to 2000 people in-person on SCD and have had several media engagements.
We are excited to launch our first educational campaign in collaboration with AirtelTigo Touching Lives,” she stated.
Dr Ansong also said that the ISCC had brought on board experts from different countries, patients and caregivers to create informative series on what SCD truly was.
“We believe our partnership with AirtelTigo will start the spark for a generation of Ghanaians who are aware of SCD and are supportive of loved ones living with the condition,” she added.
Head of Brands and Communications, AirtelTigo, Nancy Assor Asiedu-Amrado said the episodes would from Monday start airing on TV3, UTV, GHOne TV, Joy TV and on Radio Peace Fm, Citi Fm, Adom Fm, Luv Fm, Connect FM and other radio stations across the country.
BY ABIGAIL ARTHUR & ELIZABETH OFFEI