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The Sickle Cell Disease Patient
The work presented in this book is an attempt at a comprehensive statement of the natural history of the sickle cell disease patient and is based upon more than 1500 consecutive patients personally observed and followed up by the author for more than five years. Comments and discussions are, however, based on experience acquired from active supervision of a total of over 3,000 sickle cell disease patients in Ghana between 1965 and 1977, giving a rough experience value of close to 30,000 patient-years.
Sickle cell disease is defined and the various genotypes and phenotypes comprising the disease are clarified. More than 70 years of actively expanding literature has been reviewed, including new information on the molecular pathology and pathophysiology of these haemoglobinopathies. The epidemiology of sickle cell disease, together with a catalogue of clinical features and complications, as witnessed by the author in Accra, have, with the aid of computers, been stated in quantitative terms.
The work shows that sickle cell disease is a problem of great magnitude, deserving of national and international attention. An approach to treatment is given, with greater emphasis on patient management than is usual, paying attention to aggravating factors such as infections within poor socio-economic conditions and stressing the importance of genetic counselling and family planning for patients.
Born in Ghana, Professor Konotey-Ahulu attended Achimota School and the University College of the Gold Coast, before reading Medicine in London, qualifying MB BS. After a period back in the newly independent Ghana as a Medical Officer, he returned to the UK for his postgraduate studies in Tropical Medicine, and proceeded Doctorate in Medicine (MD London University), with subsequent postings at the University of Ghana Medical School, and the Ministry of Health at Korle Bu Hospital, where he directed the largest Sickle Cell Clinic in the world.
A global authority on Sickle Cell disease, the value of Professor Konotey-Ahulu’s work which included some discoveries in Clinical Medicine, has been widely recognized by medical practitioners and specialists around the world, leading to his inclusion in a survey of ‘The 100 Greatest Africans of All Time’. He has produced upwards of 200 publications, a number of which have become the definitive studies in their field.
Professor Konotey-Ahulu is the first person known to have traced hereditary disease in his forebears, generation by generation, with all names, right back to 1670 AD.
He is the recipient of numerous awards including the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Foundation Award for outstanding research in Sickle Cell Anaemia, the Guinness Award for Scientific Achievement in the Commonwealth, and the Gold Medal of Ghana’s Academy of Arts & Sciences for outstanding contribution to knowledge in the Medical Sciences by a Ghanaian.