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

In his native Ghana, Dr. Ohene-Frempong established a pilot program to supply screening for sickle cell illness amongst newborns in the southern metropolis of Kumasi. It was the primary such program in sub-Saharan Africa. In addition to figuring out youngsters with the sickness, this system referred them to specialised clinics that offered remedies like antibiotics to stop infections, routine immunizations and a drug, hydroxyurea, that may cut 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 distinguished member of a royal household.

Kwaku attended a boarding faculty, Prempeh College, then went to Yale University, the place he majored in biology and was captain of the monitor and subject crew, setting indoor and out of doors data in the excessive hurdles. While a scholar, he met Janet Williams, who was attending Cornell University. They married on June 6, 1970, one week after they’d each graduated.

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

“He was in pain,” he stated of his cousin. “His eyes were very yellow, and he was very skinny.”

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

In his six years at Tulane, he established the Tulane Sickle Cell Center 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 Children’s Hospital and remained there for 30 years earlier than leaving to work full time in Ghana, at the Kumasi Center for Sickle Cell Disease, a analysis and remedy middle. He was nonetheless based mostly there when he returned to Philadelphia for most cancers remedy.

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