Speaking at the launch of the first public-private partnership between Ghana and global pharmaceutical company Novartis, designed to ease the pain of sickle cell patients in Ghana and improve their lives, Dr Bawumia expressed his delight at the intervention.
“Like many of our people, the President and I share a great concern about sickle cell disease. We share the concern of the burden that the disease places on their health and lives of those who live with it. We care about the effects it has on their families and society as a whole”, Dr Bawumia said on Wednesday, 6 November 2019.
“The President and I are happy to see the concerted efforts that are being made to ease the pain and improve the lives of people with the disease in our country. Indeed, I am delighted to be here today to bear witness to those efforts and to support the promise of better days for our people who live with this difficult disease”, he added.
Approximately 80% of individuals with Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) globally are born in sub-Saharan Africa, and more than half of the affected individuals die before the age of five due to preventable complications. In Ghana, it is estimated that 15,000 babies are born with sickle cell disease every year.
The launch of the Ghana-Novartis partnership makes Ghana the first African country to commit to offering a high standard of care for its people with sickle cell disease.
Ghana, through the partnership with Novartis, is set to establish eleven Centres of Excellence across the country for the treatment of sickle cell disease.
According to officials of the Ministry of Health, these centres will raise the standards of care for people with sickle cell disease through new Treatment Guidelines, assist efforts to expand Ghana’s Newborn Screening Programme for Sickle Cell Disease, and help train healthcare professionals in the modern management of sickle cell disease. These Centers will also take part in research into new treatments for sickle cell disease.