AirtelTigo Ghana has partnered with the International Sickle Cell Centre (ISCC), for a sickle cell educational campaign on the wing of their award winning Corporate Social Responsibility, AirtelTigo Touching Lives.
The goal of this initiative is to raise public awareness on Sickle Cell Disease (SCD), its impact and empower persons living with the condition.
Speaking at the launch, the Chief Executive Officer at AirtelTigo, Leo Skarlatos said, AirtelTigo Touching lives focuses on areas including health, education, social wellbeing, among others.
Sickle cell, he said is a disease that affects an increasing number of people, yet it relatively unknown to the public
“The condition can interfere with many aspects of the patients’ lives, including their education, employment, and psychosocial development. We have always been passionate about impactful Corporate Social initiatives that directly or indirectly affect people positively,”
“We are happy to partner with the ISCC to create awareness and sensitize the public on sickle cell Disease. It is our hope to ultimately help reduce the stigma around SCD whiles empowering and touching the lives of affected individuals”, he said.
AirtelTigo is optimistic that airing the generated episodes that feature real-life stories of individuals and families battling the condition, will send a message of hope to others living with SCD.
Dr. Mary Ansong, the lead Medical Expert driving the project and Founder of the ISCC also revealed that: “Sickle cell disease is very prevalent in Ghana, with one in three Ghanaians being carriers of the AS or AC genotype and 18,000 children born annually with the disease. Unfortunately, many parents only discover their sickle cell 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. Since ISCC’s inception in March 2021, we have screened 528 people from over 12 communities for their sickle cell genotype. We also provided genetic counselling to all as well as offered the needed medical support to some affected individuals”
Furthermore, the ISCC has educated close to 2000 people in-person on SCD and have had several media engagements.
“We believe our partnership with AirtelTigo will start the spark for a generation of Ghanaians who are aware of SCD and are supportive of loved ones living with the condition”. She said
The partnership has been designed to bring together medical experts, people living with SCD, relatives, caregivers, policy makers, advocates to tackle SCD and prevent social stigmatization through education.