Director Emeritus of the Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center
Ohene-Frempong, who chose CHOP for his pediatric hematology fellowship in 1977 because the Hospital had the first comprehensive sickle cell disease (SCD) program in Pennsylvania, received a Millennium Excellence Award in Ghana, his home country. In September, he shifted three-quarters of his time to Ghana, where he will supervise the opening of a new, much larger sickle cell clinic. His goal is to bring the same lifesaving, pain-reducing treatments used at CHOP to children with sickle cell disease in Ghana and other sub-Saharan Africa countries, where one in 50 children has SCD.
“An enlarged spleen is a completely manageable complication of sickle cell disease — providing the child gets IV fluids quickly. If diagnosis and treatment are delayed, they go into shock and die. In 1978, we began teaching parents how to feel for an enlarged spleen, and if they feel it, to call the ambulance to bring their child to the Emergency Department. Now, probably 15 to 20 times a year, children come to CHOP with an enlarged spleen that their parents felt, saving all those lives.”