A picture of the sickle crisis in Ghana: Conversation with a Sickle Parent

A 23years old girl was referred from a peripheral hospital to the ER in a teaching hospital. She was brought in an ambulance  with her mother and 2 siblings. The patient was dehydrated and very ill-looking. The relatives were anxious. After reading the referral, we found out-patient had been screened for sickle-cell and she was SC.

I called the mother to speak with her after attending to the girl and this is how the conversation went.

Me: Maame please do you know what condition  your daughter is suffering from?

Mother : No I don’t. The doctor didn’t tell me.

Me: Maame did you ask the doctor?

Mother: “She grins shyly”  no I didn’t

Me: Maame what caused you to send your daughter to the hospital?

Mother : She suffers from rheumatism. It comes every time the weather gets cold. She started experiencing rheumatism at an early  age.   She suffers a lot. Her dad also had the same condition but he is dead. But this time she also complained of severe headache.

Me: Maame all these years, how have you been managing  her rheumatism?

Mother : We use local ointments to massage her

Me: Maame your daughter is suffering from a condition called Sickle cell. It affects the blood.

(She cuts in )

Mother: I believe it is spiritual. You see she is a twin. But her twin sister is fine. As for her, she has always been sick. I think someone is behind it spiritually.

Me: No Maame, She inherited it from your husband and you. (Further explanations were given her)

Do you see the picture?

What is wrong with this story?

  • So many Ghanaians are suffering from Sickle-cell without knowing that they have the condition.
  • There are many Ghanaians who go to the hospital when sick, see the doctor in the Consulting room and all they are waiting for are the medications that will be given them at the end. They are not so keen on knowing what the problem is, why they are having the condition and how it can be managed.

But this attitude of “not being bothered” about what could be wrong with you is what is bringing us back to the same conditions over and over again.

So when next you go to the hospital to get treatment, make sure you know these 5 things  before leaving.

1. The condition you are suffering from.

2. What caused you to have the condition?

3. What are the options for managing the condition.

4. What are the side-effects of the management/treatment options.

5. How can you prevent the condition from coming again.

  • On the other hand, the doctors and nurses have a duty to inform and educate you on these five things whenever you visit the hospital to seek treatment. So ask and let them teach you.
  • This girl’s condition was poorly managed due to ignorance on the part of the mother and irresponsibility on the part of the health professionals who treated her before.
  • Parents, be your children’s advocate in the hospital. Ask questions and seek answers on their behalf.

Be informed



4 most important personal information employers must have of their employees.

A young man about 22 years was rushed to the emergency department after falling unconscious. He was a driver’s mate (bus attendant). He was brought in by one of the drivers at the bus station he works at.

Upon arrival, the driver was only able to mention the patient’s nickname but not his real name. He did not know his age, he had no idea where he stayed,  he couldn’t tell us about any relatives or next of Kin we could contact us and he certainly had no information regarding his medical history.  

When asked how he didn’t know anything he said; the boy has been at the station for over 5 years. He works with a lot of drivers as a driver’s mate. They only know about a relative of his who comes around to look for him once in a while but they do not have his number. According to the driver, patient was fine in the morning but fell to the ground suddenly and didn’t wake up so they brought him. His BP was very high over 200/140mmHg.

Sadly the young man died later that night. From cardiac (heart complications ).

After his death the station master came around. He said the boy drank a lot of alcohol, and he would even cause disturbances at the station sometimes.

Now getting the news of the death to the boy’s relatives was a problem because no one knew them. The body was sent to the morgue without any family member’s knowledge.

What’s the gap? There is an absence of personnel personal record keeping system in the informal sectors like the transport stations. Unlike the formal sectors and institutions where key information is collected and kept on record, these informal places of work have none, which makes it dangerous in times of emergencies like this one.

Example; Station masters should have the personal emergency information of all the people under him. The drivers, mates, etc.

Type of information needed for the emergency personal information records. 

1.Name  ( Name on ID card) :It is very necessary for people’s real names to be kep on record. This is because most people tend to call their fellow workers by their nicknames which most times replace their real names. And in times of emergencies, their real names are not known. Patients get abandoned unintentionally all the time by their relatives and friends because the names they are admitted with are often times different from what is on record.

2. Age : A person’s age tells a lot about them which is more so medically.

3. Place of residence: Where the people live.

4. Next of Kin: Knowing who to call in time of emergency is very vital especially in this age where money is needed to get most things done at the hospital. Also in cases where blood transfusion is needed, having someone to call can be all that is needed to save a life.

These four pieces of personal information should be collected and kept for time of emergency. It can be life saving.

Spread the word.

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On Real Sickle Stories, the experiences of sickle cell patients and their families are shared to motivate others and to create awareness.

As the most common genetic disorder in the world, sickle cell comes with it a huge emotional and psychological burden to parents of sicklers.


This picture was taken by my older sister during a very difficult crisis I was having in hospital. She was helpless and pained by my suffering. Despite this my days in hospital are made a little easier with my mother by my side. My dear mother brings me food, makes my bed, helps me with personal care, makes me laugh and prays with me. She gives me so much hope and believes in my life and what God has in store for me. My mother is so special to me and so I dedicate this short poem to all the mothers who care and support us during our weak days. ❤️🙏❤️
Mothers we know you didn’t bring us into the world to suffer on purpose.
Thank you caring for me, being my mothering nurse. Your are my protector, my angel on earth. You heal me with your love and you strengthen my days. You endure my sad days and you brighten up my days. My suffering is your suffering we both feel it in different ways. I thank God for blessing me with you. I love you more and more each day. My mother, my best friend, my everything ❤️❤️❤️ Sarah- Jane




Show a little bit of Red: Will it be a lipstick or a tie for the sickle cell awareness month of September.


September is Sickle cell awareness month. Take advantage of this to learn more about the commonest genetic disorder in Ghana.

Do you know why Red is the colour for sickle cell awareness? 

Red is the colour of blood and love. These two are what sickle persons need the most.

Blood because they suffer from a blood disorder. The haemoglobin cells which makes our blood red has a normal life span of 90 – 120 days. But the haemoglobin cells of the sickle cell person lasts for 10 – 20 days less than that of the normal cells. Because of this frequent breakdown of their cells, sickle cell persons experience anaemia often and most times have to undergo blood transfusion.

The sensitive nature of this condition and the people who have it makes showing then love and care life saving. Sickle cell brings a lot of pain with it during its crisis episodes.  Showing love is one way of making life easier for them.

Show some love…

Show support….

Wear red lipstick or tie this month and take a picture. Tag thekssproject on Instagram. Or on your social media sites with the #Redforsicklecellawareness

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Stressing over healthy baby food? Try this homemade Green peas food.


Choosing and trying foods for your baby can be stressful for a health concious mum. There are lots of foods out there but some of them have questionable health benefits.

Green peas like many fruits and vegetables have health benefits that are good for your baby.

1. Green peas contain vitamin C which is good for building your baby’s immune system.

2. It also has a good source of folic acid.

3. Green peas are very low in cholesterol and even helps to fight cholesterol levels.

4. Peas also contain vitamin K and A.g

Peas are typically recommended for introduction into a baby’s diet between 6-8 months old. Some starts at 4 months. it is recommended that you thoroughly discuss any feeding issues with your pediatrician.

To prepare :

1: Always remember to wash hands with soap and water.

2: Place fresh peas into a steamer basket in a pan with just enough water to slightly show through in the basket.


3: Steam or boil until very tender.

4: Reserve any left over water to use for thinning out the peas. Or you can add breastmilk to it.

5: Let it sit for a while to cool down then blend.

Pea skins are rather difficult to completely puree. Using a blender rather than a food processor or stick mixer might be better as well.

6: transfer them into the small baby containers. Freeze them. It can be freeze for a month but I prefer one week.

7: thaw overnight if you want to feed baby…simply take out the food, thaw and then reheat.It’s ok to microwave food in a mug or a pyrex bowl. Please don’t use plastic bowl to warm food it causes cancer. or boil hot water and leave container in it till food is warm enough for baby. Or on the stove, not for long.


By Maame Tiwaa Dadson

5 respiratory etiquettes that can stop the spread of Colds and flu.

Etiquettes are accepted polite behaviours that everyone is expected to know. But there are some etiquettes that are not quiet understood or known by people which results in the spread of infections among people.

These 5 respiratory etiquettes can prevent the spread of colds and flu for a healthy nation.

1. Good hand hygiene: Hygiene is a friend of health. Keeping your hands clean and free from germs is a great way to protect yourself and others from infections. Always wash your hands with soap and water.

Keep your hands away from your eyes and nose. You may carry infections to them or from them.

2. Cover your mouth when coughing /sneezing: It is not polite and it is unhealthy to cough or sneeze on  others. Always carry a handkerchief or tissue paper with you, especially if you are experiencing cold. Cough/sneeze by covering your mouth to avoid the spread of infections.

If there is no tissue, you can use the inside of your elbow to coveryour mouth.

3. Use Disposable tissues: It is more healthy to use disposable tissues when having cold than to use a handkerchief.

4. Dispose off used tissue: After sneezing, blowing your nose, or coughing,  there are infectious particles that are deposited in the tissue or handkerchief.  By putting them in your bag, pocket, purse, etc you are contaminating the place. Anytime you put in your hand, you carry these particles unto surfaces as you touch them, and also to people. Properly dispose these used tissues soon as possible  to prevent a spread.

5. Carry a hand sanitizer: Get yourself a hand sanitizer to clean your hands where there is no water and soap. Always carry one in your purse or bag.

Let’s stop the spread of infections!


Try these 5 tips and enjoy better health for your eyes.


1. Know your family health history : I have already explained the importance of knowing your family health history.  (Please go back and read it). There are some eye conditions like glaucoma, that are hereditary. By knowing your family’s health history, you will be able to take the necessary steps to avoid it or diagnose it early after screening.

2. Go for a comprehensive eye screening: Until you get your eye screened, you can not be completely certain about how healthy your eyes are. Some eye conditions like glaucoma do not show early symptoms until later when it progresses.  Go get your eye screened .IMG-20170801-WA0007

3. Eat healthy: Healthy eating leads to a healthy body. Eat lotsof fruits and vegetables. Especially foods rich in vitamin A like carrots, and other orange colours foods. Also green leafy vegetables and salmon are also good for healthy eyes. In all, eat a balanced diet always.

4. Get protective eye wear: Depending on your job and activities you are exposed to,  like mining , welding, and some sporting activities. Wearing the right protective eye wear can keep your eyes from any damage.

5. Observe regular handwashing: washing your hads reularly can help maintain healthy eyes especially if you rub your eyes frequently. Rubbing and touching your eyes with unclean hands can introduce dirt and infections to your eyes. Always keep clean hands by washing them frequently.

You have a chance to be among two people who get to win a free comprehensive eye screening and consultation . All you need to do is

1. Like my post

2. Click on the “follow” button

3. That’s all, two winners will be randomly selected on Saturday.


Share with others.  Let’s protect our eyes











It’s World Breastfeeding Week! For your baby, know why we celebrate.


Know the benefits of breastfeeding for your baby. 

1. Breastfeeding protects babies from infections that commonly affect them. That’s because breast milk contains certain properties that boosts the immunity of your baby.

2. Breastfeeding is also known to boost a child’s IQ. So if you are looking for your baby to be intelligent, breastfeeding should be your practice.

3. Exclusive breastfeeding helps to protect your child from developing allergies in future.

4. Children who are exclusively breastfeed are at a lower risk of becoming obese.

5. Breastfeeding exclusively for even a month cuts your baby’s risk of sudden infant death syndrome  (SIDs) in half.


Join the campaign to promote breastfeeding for a healthy future generation.

breastfeeding #WBW2017 #WABA

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