Youth advised to know their sickle cell status before falling in love


Madam Charlotte Owusu, the founder of Sickle Cell Condition Advocate (SICCA), has emphasized the importance of knowing one’s sickle cell status before falling in love. Sickle cell disease is a genetic disorder that can be passed down from parents to children. If both parents are carriers of the sickle cell gene, there is a high chance that their children will inherit the disease.

Madam Owusu, interacting with staff of the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Tema, on the disease, stressed that many young people were unaware of the risks of having sickle cell disease in children and its implications on their relationships. She emphasised the need for education and awareness about sickle cell disease to be created, particularly among young people.

She urged young people to get tested for their genotype before committing to a relationship, as doing so would help them make informed choices to avoid bringing forth sickle cell patients, which come with a lot of pain, financial commitment, and psychological implications.

She stated that knowing your genetic compatibility before falling in love was a vital step in discovering what lies ahead, which could help safeguard the health and well-being of their future children. “Knowing your genotype can help you make informed decisions about your health and your relationships.

It is better to be aware of the risks and take steps to reduce them than to ignore them and suffer the consequences,” she added. She encouraged people with AA genotypes to accept marrying SS, AS, and the other variants of sickle cell disease to help reduce and eradicate the disease in the country.

According to her, 75 percent of the population were of the AA genotype, while two percent were of the SS genotype, and the remaining 23 were carriers who could transfer to their children. “Therefore, if 75 percent agreed to marry the others, it would make a significant difference in reducing the disease rate among Ghanaians and other black people,” she stated.



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