Sickle cell disease(SCD) is a chronic inherited illness affecting about 300,000 infants born in Africa each year. Historically, over 95% of babies born with SCD in rural Africa died before 5 years old. In Kumasi, Ghana, where 2% of all babies born have SCD, the newborn screening programme has a survival rate to five years of over 95%. This book looks at fathers’ perceptions of the birth of a child with SCD and their role in the care of such children. Contrary to stereotypes suggesting fathers might abandon such children, the majority were involved in their welfare in terms of financial support, if not always direct care. The book examines how the Ghanaian social context exerts as much influence as the condition itself, and considers such factors as: the influence of formal and informal stages of courtship and marriage on negotiations of responsibility for children; the cultural imperative to bear children; negotiating gender roles in the household division of labour;the structural limitations imposed by fee-for service treatment; the widespread stigmatisation of SCD and how supernatural world views are resisted by informed families and role of organised religion in shaping concepts
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