The government of Ghana is partnering with Novartis to improve diagnosis and treatment of patients with sickle cell disease (SCD). Through the public-private collaboration, the pharmaceutical company will test innovative SCD treatments in the country, with a goal of improving care and providing data for future studies.
The partnership is already yielding results, with Novartis submitting hydroxyurea (the standard of care for SCD) to Ghana’s Food and Drugs Authority for registration as an SCD treatment.
Kwaku Ohene-Frempong, MD, president of the Sickle Cell Foundation of Ghana, anticipates that the collaboration will bring global attention to SCD. Although Ghana is one of the few African countries that has a newborn screening program, no country tests all children for the disease. Dr. Ohene-Frempong told a local news outlet: “We are losing hundreds of thousands of babies across Africa each year without even a diagnosis of the disease.”
Source: Peace FM, January 25, 2019.