Healthcare provision for sickle cell disease in Ghana: challenges for the African context
Sickle cell disease (SCD) is an inherited disorder affecting 2% of all babies born in Ghana. SCD is the commonest genetic condition of clinical and epidemiological importance in Africa, and over 95% of children born with the disease die before the age of 5 years. Optimal healthcare provision for people with SCD requires a holistic approach involving a multiplicity of well-trained professionals, as well as a well-defined system of social support that caters to their physical, emotional, psychological and financial needs. This review article explores the SCD situation in Ghana within an African milieu and, where possible, draws specific comparisons between Africa (especially Ghana), the USA and the UK. This article acknowledges the limited resources available for managing the disease in most parts of tropical Africa and the lack of accurate data to assess the impact of the disease on public health generally. It recognises that expensive and high-technological solutions to health care developed in the USA and the UK are not best suited to a low-income country such as Ghana. However, it argues strongly for the need to improve healthcare and social services for patients and families, to improve on the quality of life of SCD patients through the adoption of an affordable intermediate strategy that could be the model for the development of services in both Ghana and other comparable African countries.
Citation : Dennis-Antwi, JA; Dyson, SM and Ohene-Frempong, K (2008) Healthcare provision for sickle cell disease in Ghana: challenges for the African context Diversity in Health and Social Care 5 (4): 241-254.
ISSN : 1743-1913
Research Group : Unit for the Social Study of Thalassaemia and Sickle Cell
Research Institute : Institute for Allied Health Sciences Research
Peer Reviewed : Yes