The Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) and the Sickle Cell Foundation, Ghana (SCF), last week, embarked on a public education campaign on Sickle Cell Disease (SCD), which culminated in a live chat on GNPC’s social media platforms, Twitter and Facebook.
The awareness programme on Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) was in commemoration of World Sickle Cell Day, which is marked annually on June, 19.
The one-hour long live chat, had Professor Kwaku Ohene-Frempong, President of SCF, responding to a range of questions on sickle cell from the public on GNPC’s Facebook and Twitter channels.
Professor Ohene-Frempong and his team, answered questions such as, how the sickle cell disease (SCD) is acquired, how to cope with the disease and care for patients. Through the live chat, Prof. also helped to break down common myths associated with sickle cell disease and how to prevent the transfer of the sickle cell gene.
Excited about the live chat, Professor Ohene-Frempong said “It’s such a refreshing experience interacting with so many people in such intimate and direct manner. Indeed, social media is a very powerful tool and we were glad to be able to use it in this manner to engage people from Ghana and all over the world to talk about sickle cell. We need to do this more often.”
Following from the positive response, GNPC is looking at the possibility of organizing live chats more frequently as another innovative platform to interact with Ghanaians.
Ahead of World Sickle Cell Day, which fell on Sunday, GNPC and SCF drove the awareness campaign through a number of media engagement activities such as radio and television interviews. On these platforms, many people were educated and they had their questions on sickle cell disease answered.
GNPC, last Friday, also hosted Prof. Ohene-Frempong at Petroleum House (GNPC head office) in Tema, to crown a week-long education campaign for its staff, to raise awareness on the disease.
Commenting on the importance of World Sickle Cell Day, Acting Chief Executive of GNPC, Alexander Kofi Mould said “Such an occasion to drive a public education campaign and create awareness is a laudable idea and GNPC is happy to partner such life-transforming initiatives. It was a great opportunity for us to reach out to Ghanaians – families, loved ones and several other people who are affected by SCD in one way or the other.”
GNPC has committed $4.5 Million towards the construction of a Centre of Excellence for Sickle Cell Treatment and Research at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi. The investment will cover the cost of acquiring materials, construction, provision of logistics, equipment and gadgets and further training of medical and administrative staff for the Centre.
As part of the collaboration, GNPC, last year supported the Sickle Cell Foundation to provide specialized training for health workers, to embark on outreach programmes.