Evaluating the knowledge of sickle cell disease and hemoglobin electrophoretic pattern among people living in Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis, Ghana
Verner N Orish1, Onyekachi S Onyeabor2, Adekunle O Sanyaolu3, Nnaemeka C Iriemenam4
1 Department of Internal Medicine, Effia-Nkwanta Regional Hospital Sekondi-Takoradi, Sekondi, Western Region, Ghana
2 Department of Community Health and Preventive Medicine, The Satcher Health Leadership Institute, Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
3 Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, Saint James School of Medicine, Anguilla, BWI; Department of Medical Microbiology and Parasitology, College of Medicine of the University of Lagos, Idi-araba, Lagos, Nigeria
4 Department of Medical Microbiology and Parasitology, College of Medicine of the University of Lagos, Idi-araba, Lagos, Nigeria
Dr. Verner N Orish
Department of Internal Medicine, Effia-Nkwanta Regional Hospital Sekondi-Takoradi, Sekondi P. O. Box 229, Western Region, Ghana
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
Background: Sickle cell disease (SCD) is an inherited lifelong hemolytic disorder affecting many children in sub-Saharan Africa, especially in West and Central Africa. There is a limited public health education on SCD in Ghana with only two information centers in Accra and Kumasi, respectively.
Methodology: This cross-sectional study evaluated the knowledge of SCD among people living in Sekondi-Takoradi metropolis. Churches, saloons, internet cafes and bus stations were randomly selected in the center of the city with proximity to the central market.
Results: A total of 621 individuals were recruited, 52.5% (326) had knowledge of their hemoglobin (Hb) electrophoretic pattern while 47.5% (295) had none. In addition, 93.4% individuals had knowledge of SCD while 6.6% had no knowledge of SCD. Older individuals exhibited better knowledge of their Hb electrophoretic pattern than the younger ones (P = 0.019). Individuals with tertiary education and married couples exhibited higher knowledge of SCD when compared to their counterparts (P < 0.001).
Conclusion: Despite the relatively high knowledge of SCD and Hb electrophoretic pattern observed in this study, it is very important to increase neonatal screenings and health care services to the region. In addition, more emphasis is needed to increase public awareness of SCD especially in schools, churches, hospitals and the media.