Contrary to what has long been propagated in the minds of many, that sickle cell patients die early, Dr. Mrs. Vivian Oforiwaa Paintsil, a Specialist Paediatrician at the Child Health Directorate of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), has affirmed "they can live beyond 18 years".

She has therefore called on all to come together to fight the myths that has engulfed the disease over the years.

In a post on her Facebook page to create awareness about this year's celebration of the World Sickle Cell Awareness Day, Dr. Vivian Paintsil, who has been taking care of children with sickle cell for the past 13 years, said such misconceptions should be dispelled.

"Sickle cell disease awareness day is just around the corner. Let's come together to dispel the myths. Yes, they can live beyond 18yrs." she wrote.

What is Sickle Cell Disease (SCD)?

A group of disorders that cause red blood cells to become misshapen and break down.

With sickle cell disease, an inherited group of disorders, red blood cells contort into a sickle shape. The cells die early, leaving a shortage of healthy red blood cells (sickle cell anaemia) and can block blood flow causing pain (sickle cell crisis).

Infections, pain and fatigue are symptoms of sickle cell disease.

World Sickle Cell Awareness Day

June 19th was officially designated as World Sickle Cell Awareness Day.

The international awareness day is observed annually with the goal to increase public knowledge and an understanding of sickle cell disease, and the challenges experienced by patients and their families and caregivers.