Contrary to the popular belief that people with sickle cell are prone to early death, the Head of Department and senior lecturer at the University of Ghana Medical School, Dr. Charles Antwi Boasiako, has called such perceptions myths.
According to the medical doctor, some sickle cell patients can live far beyond the life expectancy of Ghanaians, which according to the World Bank is around 63 years. He said some can even live for as long as 90 years.
He was speaking in an interview on Onua 95.1FM ON Thursday May 2.
Dr. Antwi Boasiako explained that sickle cell is not contagious, but a blood related disease that is passed on at birth – it is hereditary.
He added that having sickle cell anemia means the amount of haemoglobin required to carry oxygen from the lungs to the other tissues of the body is inadequate.
“Those with the sickness have a low haemoglobin that is why is termed sickle cell anaemia”, he said in twi.
He noted that an observation about patients with sickle cell is that they are very brilliant people, something he said a lot of people are unaware of.
The doctor advised patients to frequently visit the hospital and take their medications as may be prescribed by physicians, warning the disease has the potential of affecting every organ in the body including the kidney and liver.
He also cautioned that patients be mindful the kind of activities they involve themselves because it can have devastating effect.
Dr. Boasiako encouraged re-hydration and good dieting in patients to help prevent the thickening of the blood.
By Ivy Osei-Owusu | 3news.com | Ghana