Sickle Cell Disease Awareness, Depth of Knowledge and Attitude Towards Premarital Screening Among Students in Ghana

  • Joan Ama Foanor Aboagye
  • Anthony Q. Q. Aboagye
Keywords: Sickle cell disease, awareness, knowledge, Premarital screening, Attitude.

Abstract

Background: Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a genetic disease that results when an individual inheritstwo abnormal haemoglobin genes, one from each parent. It has been estimated that about 15,000 babies (2% of births) are born yearly with SCD in Ghana, thus SCD is a major public health issue. This study explored the awareness of SCD among students of a second cycle institution in Ghana’s most populous city, Accra, as well as their knowledge
about the disease and attitudes towards premarital counselling and premarital screening. Responses to a self-administered questionnaire were received from 115 randomly selected respondents. Findings show that 71.3% of respondents were aware of SCD. The proportion of females who  were aware of SCD was higher than males. An interesting source from which a good proportion of respondents received information about SCD is social media. Of those who were aware of SCD, only 54.9% knew that it is a hereditary disease. Virtually all respondents did not have adequate  knowledge on the presentation of the disease. As many as 65.9% of those aware of SCD thought it has a cure. While a majority of respondents were aware that pre-marital screening has something to do with prevention of the disease, only a little over a quarter of those aware of SCD knew  precisely what pre-marital screening for SCD is about. Respondents were generally pre-disposed to premarital screening however. The study  concludes that more intensive education on SCD early in the life of the youth, particular about pre-marital screening, would help in reducing the incidence of SCD in Ghana. More widespread studies along the dimensions of this study are recommended.

Keywords: Sickle cell disease, awareness, knowledge, Premarital screening, Attitude.

Published
2020-03-16
Section
Articles

Journal Identifiers


eISSN: 2458-7435
print ISSN: 2343-6689