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Many stem cell transplants have been curative with a 90% survival but only 18% of eligible patients have an acceptable match.
The multicenter trials of hydroxyurea in the 1980s and 90s as preventive therapy reduced the need for blood transfusions, pain events and hospitalizations. This was approved for medical use by the FDA in 1998.
Education on SCD was given to students in almost all Health Training Institutions and Senior High Schools in the three regions.
Informal Education: The approach used was community based health education.
The Counseling Units started running before official opening of clinics which was done at the end of the project.
All official opening ceremonies were covered by press. Advocacy groups made up of patients, parents and people with interest in SCD were established in all three northern regions.
The promotion involved the Regional Coordinating Councils, Ministry of Information, Department of Social Welfare, Media Houses and some Community Leaders in all the three regions.
Students were used for Blood Donation and Eye Screening exercises to create awareness as well.
Training sessions were organized for coordinators and volunteers in each region.CONCLUSION Great changes in Sickle Cell awareness was created in three northern regions of Ghana through this Advocacy Project.With the availability of funds and similar efforts in other regions and adoption of recommendations, there is genuine prospect of greater countrywide change on the horizon.This was solved by the use of vehicles from the Regional Hospital, Regional Health Directorate and Ministry of Education in regions. Another challenge that came up was the lack of staff for the project, since some of the trained personnel for the project had to discontinue work in the north.This was also solved by using volunteers and coordinators from the Regional Hospitals and Regional Health Directorate who were given some form of training in each region before work started.