Kwaku Ohene-Frempong, Expert in Sickle Cell Disease, Dies at 76

In his native Ghana, Dr. Ohene-Frempong established a pilot program to offer screening for sickle cell illness amongst newborns in the southern metropolis of Kumasi. It was the primary such program in sub-Saharan Africa. Along with figuring out kids with the sickness, this system referred them to specialised clinics that offered therapies like antibiotics to forestall infections, routine immunizations and a drug, hydroxyurea, that may scale back the danger of issues from sickle cell.

Kwaku Ohene-Fremong was born on March 13, 1946, in Kukurantumi, in japanese Ghana, to Kwasi Adde Ohene and Adwoa Idi Boafu. His father was a cocoa farmer and a outstanding member of a royal household.

Kwaku attended a boarding college, Prempeh Faculty, then went to Yale College, the place he majored in biology and was captain of the observe and area staff, setting indoor and out of doors data in the excessive hurdles. Whereas a pupil, he met Janet Williams, who was attending Cornell College. They married on June 6, 1970, one week after they’d each graduated.

Dr. Ohene-Frempong mentioned in an interview in 2019 that he first discovered about sickle cell when he and a few pals attended a lecture in regards to the illness at Yale. As he sat listening, he mentioned, he all of the sudden acknowledged the illness: It was in his household however had gone undiagnosed. Considered one of his cousins had the signs and died at 14.

“He was in ache,” he mentioned of his cousin. “His eyes have been very yellow, and he was very skinny.”

Dr. Ohene-Frempong continued on to medical college at Yale, then went to New York Hospital Weill-Cornell Medical Heart in Manhattan for his residency. He studied pediatric hematology at the Youngsters’s Hospital of Philadelphia earlier than shifting to the Tulane College College of Medication, the place he was affiliate professor of pediatrics.

In his six years at Tulane, he established the Tulane Sickle Cell Heart of Southern Louisiana, a medical care facility, and helped the state well being division develop a newborn-screening program for the illness.

In 1986, Dr. Ohene-Frempong returned to Youngsters’s Hospital and remained there for 30 years earlier than leaving to work full time in Ghana, at the Kumasi Heart for Sickle Cell Illness, a analysis and therapy middle. He was nonetheless based mostly there when he returned to Philadelphia for most cancers therapy.

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