President of the Leukemia Project Foundation, Gerald Boakye, says processes are underway to construct comprehensive haematology and sickle cell centre for patients with the condition.

According to the project’s facilitators, the centre, known as the Ghana Haematology and Clinical Genetics, will offer improved diagnosis and treatment to patients living with blood cancers and disorders.

Giving an insight into the project and the foundation leading this course, the President of the Leukemia Project Foundation, Gerald Boakye, stated, “The Leukemia Project initially was a project-specific foundation to try and set up a clinic to help people with Leukemia.”

He stated that currently, people travel outside to seek treatment for Leukemia, which comes at a very high cost; hence, the decision to construct this centre to make treatment affordable.

Leukaemia is a cancer of blood-forming tissues, including bone marrow. Many types exist, such as acute lymphoblastic Leukaemia, acute myeloid Leukaemia and chronic lymphocytic Leukaemia.

Many patients with slow-growing types of Leukaemia don’t have symptoms. However, rapidly growing types of Leukaemia may cause symptoms that include fatigue, weight loss, frequent infections and easy bleeding or bruising.

However, the Head of Haematology at the Korle-Bu, Dr Yvonne Adomako, said, “it’s not very clear what causes Leukemia.”

“Certain predisposing factors such as genetic abnormalities, environmental factors, and viruses, as well as certain chromosomal abnormalities. Malaria, unfortunately, predisposes people to this as well,” she added.

She further implored people who may be experiencing any signs of this disease to seek early treatment to reduce the impact it may have on them.

In 2021, the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital and the Leukaemia Project Foundation (LPF) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish the first Haematology and Sickle Cell Centre in the country.

The ultra-modern facility, known as the Ghana Centre for Haematology and Clinical Genetics, will have laboratories, a daycare centre, an emergency unit and ambulance service, wards for inpatients, and an outpatient department (OPD).

It will also have a bone marrow registry, offices for consultants and administration, and a research unit when completed.

Chairperson of the LPF, Alhassan Andani, who led a delegation including the foundation’s President, Gerard Boakye, to sign the MoU, said LPF is a non-profit, non-governmental organization dedicated to the fight against Leukaemia and other blood-related disorders.

He said the foundation was set up to give a chance to people living with blood cancers and other haematological diseases to receive comprehensive treatment locally at a much lower cost than centres in the United Kingdom, United States of America, or South Africa.