Treatment cost, inadequate equipment hinder sickle cell management

High cost of treatment and inadequate equipment at the country’s health facilities have been identified as major hindrances preventing sickle cell patients in seeking medical attention at the hospital.

Averagely it is estimated to cost a sickle cell patient between GH¢1,000 to GH¢10,000 to undergo treatment at a major hospital like Komfo Anokye or Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, while machines such as indirect Ophthalmoscope, Fundus Camera, among others, used in treating sickle cell patients were said to be also not enough in health facilities in the country.

Dr Philip Karikari, Medical Supt. of Seventh Day Adventist Hospital at Sunyani in the Bono Region disclosed this to media men on Friday to mark this year’s World Sickle Cell Day celebration.

The World Sickle Cell day which falls on June 19 every year to create awareness on the disease was on the theme; “Sickle cell is real;” “Youth know your status now”, was attended by children and adults with sickle cell disease in the Sunyani Municipality.

Dr Karikari explained that sickle cell was a genetic condition which had no cure but could be managed with administration of several drugs such as prophylaxis, hydroxyurea, as well as seeking early treatment.

An ophthalmologist at the SDA hospital, Dr Louis Oteng Gyimah appealed to philanthropists to help supply the hospital with machines to enable the hospital treat people with the sickle cell disease at a cheaper cost, explaining that most sickle cell patients were low income earners making it difficult for them to afford treatment at the hospital.

Ms Angelina A. Korang, Principal Physician Assistant at the SDA hospital on her part advised patients to eat nutritious meals, especially vegetables and fruits so as to enhance and boost immune system.

FROM DANIEL DZIRASAH, SUNYANI

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