Ms Joycelyn Tetteh, Member of Parliament (MP) for North Dayi, is gearing up for an outreach programme to educate her constituents on the sickle cell disease.

“Don’t marry just because you are in love, do all the necessary checks before you get married or commit yourself to have children,” the MP advised.

She gave the assurance in an interview with journalists after contributing to a statement at the floor of Parliament made by Ms Francisca Oteng Mensah, MP for Kwabre East on the disease as the world marked World Sickle Cell Day last Monday.

Sickle cell is a genetic condition which affects the red blood cells and cause it to break down with other accompanying diseases, which include the damage of lungs, heart, kidneys, liver, and eyes amongst others.

Ms Oteng Mensah said available data indicated that 18,000 children were born in Ghana annually with the condition, of which 50 per cent died before five years.

Ms Tetteh expressed the need for prospective marriage mates to include in their counselling issues about the disease.

She said she would initiate discussions and organise outreach programmes for people to become more aware of the disease.

According to her, she is putting health issues as a priority in the area, and invited individuals, groups, governmental and non-governmental organisations to help in the health drive in the constituency.

Ms Tetteh concurred with Ms Oteng Mensah that, “We need all hands on deck as Ghanaians to fight against the sickle cell disease.

“I am calling on the Ministry of Health and other stakeholders such as Sickle Cell Foundation of Ghana, to regularly visit schools, churches, mosques, work places, football clubs and other associations to create awareness and educate people about the disease.”

The World Sickle Cell Day is set aside to help increase public awareness on the disease and the struggles carriers and their families go through.

GNA