AirtelTigo officials in a group photo with the leadership of ISCC
Telecommunication company, AirtelTigo has partnered with the International Sickle Cell Centre (ISCC) to champion an awareness campaign on sickle cell.
The partnership is under the wing of its corporate social responsibility, ‘AirtelTigo Touching Lives initiative.
Speaking at the launch, Chief Executive Officer, AirtelTigo, Leo Skarlatos indicated that the AirtelTigo Touching Lives initiative focuses on areas including health, education, and social well-being among others.
He said sickle cell disease affects an increasing number of people, yet it is relatively unknown to the public.
The condition can interfere with many aspects of the patient’s life, including education, employment, and psychosocial development.
“ We have always been passionate about impactful corporate social initiatives that directly or indirectly affect people positively. Partnering with the ISCC to create awareness and sensitize the public on sickle cell disease is in the right direction” he said.
Mr. Skarlatos further indicated that as part of the education exercise to sensitize the general public, AirtelTigo is optimistic about airing the generated episodes that feature real-life stories of individuals and families battling the condition, which will send a message of hope to others living with sickle cell disease.
The Lead Medical Expert and Founder of the International Sickle Cell Centre (ISCC), Dr. Mary Ansong in her statement revealed that sickle cell disease is very prevalent in Ghana as one in three Ghanaians is a carrier of the AS or AC genotype, and 18,000 children are born annually with the disease.
‘Unfortunately, many parents only discover their sickle genotype after the birth of a precious child with the condition. Nonetheless, SCD is not a death sentence with early diagnosis, treatment, education, and a supportive community, people living with the condition can enjoy full and healthy lives” she said.
She further stated that “one of the major problems in tackling the morbidity and mortality rate of sickle-cell disease in Ghana and Africa is the lack of awareness of the condition and the needed interventions to save lives.
Through the corporate social initiative, AirtelTigo Touching Lives, we know this collaboration will promote sickle cell education.”
Since ISCC’s inception in March 2021, about 528 people from over 12 communities have been screened for their sickle cell genotype.
The ISCC provides Genetic counseling to all as well as offers the needed medical support to some affected individuals as close to 2000 people have been educated on SCD.
“The ISCC has also brought on board experts from different countries as well as patients and caregivers to create informative series on what SCD truly is and hope our collaboration will spark a generation of Ghanaians who are aware of SCD,” she said.
BY Prince Fiifi Yorke