Over 150 pupils of the La Bawaleshie Adventist Preparatory school have been screened for sickle cell by Gibeleen and Sandra (G.N.S.) Foundation, an NGO.
In attendance to support the exercise were a popular rapper, Okyeame Kwame; an actor, Kofi Adjorlolo, and Inna Mariam Patty, CEO of Miss Ghana.
Sponsors of the event are the Ghana Gas, Airport Women’s Hospital, E&E Medical Centre, Seed Aqua Mineral Water and God Haven Ministry.
The founder of the NGO, Sandra Amponsah Ayivor, explained that the event formed part of activities to commemorate this year’s Sickle Cell Awareness month.
She said the exercise which was free, also covered some residents in the area.
“We are not just screening the students and residents but also creating massive awareness on the devastating effects of the disease.
“We have witnessed the effect of sickle cell disease and how it can prevent the younger generation from reaching their potential in life.
“You will agree with me that a nation develops and moves to greater heights when its citizens are healthy holistically.
The event, therefore, is a step in the right direction,” Mrs Ayivor added.
She further said that since the inception of the foundation in 2013, it had embarked on a number of projects, including the donation to a sickle cell clinic, blood donation exercises, and planting of trees in honour of fallen heroes.
Mrs Ayivor said the foundation also partnered Sales Support Africa, a CSO, to provide wheelchairs, sanitisers and Veronica buckets during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A senior Medical Officer and Sickle Cell Specialist, Dr Sylvester Annan Mensah, stressed the need for the government to prioritise the treatment of sickle cell by supporting NGOs to sensitise communities to the disease.
He also advised persons with sickle cell condition to frequent clinics for check-ups, adding “persons who have not yet checked their status are encouraged to visit the clinic for a checkup as it is important to know your genotype to save you from the devastating pains of being a sickle cell patient”.
The G.N.S. Foundation stands for Gibeleen and Sandra which specialises in sickle cell management and associated haematological diseases.
Other programmes of the organisation include support to orphanages and PWDs, youth and women.
Although formed since 2013, the organisation was legally registered in early 2016.
Mrs Ayivor is the Head of Accreditation Maintenance (Quality Management System Department) at the Food and Drugs Authority.
She is also the Director, Ghana Women Forum (a multisectoral national development initiative) which provides opportunities for women as well as the Brand Ambassador for Airport Women’s Hospital.