Mary Akua Ampomah, Ghana
Scientific Advisor SERI
Mary Akua Ampomah is a Clinical Psychologist by profession at the largest adolescent and adult sickle cell clinic in Ghana- Ghana Institute of Clinical Genetics.
She holds a Master of Philosophy Degree in Clinical Psychology. Currently, she is in a PhD program. Her passionate goal is to utilize clinical and community based research to improve the psychological well-being, quality of life and advocacy for individuals living with sickle cell disease (SCD). Her passion led to a number of research collaborations with Investigators from both local and international institutions to understand SCD in a low resource setting.One of her collaborations with Sickle Cell Foundation of Ghana helped produced a culturally-sensitive and evidence-based SCD counseling in Ghana (GENECIS). Culturally – sensitive and evidence-based research has not only improved her work as a Clinical Psychologist working with SCD clients struggling with psycho-social burden of living with SCD but also helped shape her advocacy in a low resourced setting.
She is a strong advocate of people living with SCD in Ghana. Her passion for advocacy in SCD stems from the loss of three close friends with SCD during her teenage years. Her advocacy is strongly backed with evidence-based research in her role as Vice-President of the Korle-Bu chapter of the largest SCD patient organization in Ghana- Sickle Cell Association of Ghana (SCAG). She organizes monthly meetings attended by clients with SCD and their families on the last Thursday of every month, during which she holds educational sessions, sometimes inviting speakers from outside her institution. She serves as a strong advocate for her clients, liaising with other subspecialties for her clients’ specific clinical needs particularly when there are financial or other barriers to accessing such care. She utilizes the media extensively to educate both individuals living with the condition, families and general public on SCD. She also uses the opportunity to touch on the needs of the growing SCD community such as new born screening and sickle cell clinics, hydroxyurea in a low resourced country.
This year, she was part of the delegation that petitioned Ghana’s Parliament to declare the month of June as Sickle Cell Awareness Month. She helps intensify SCD education and awareness by collaborating with Sickle Cell Foundation of Ghana yearly to organize world sickle cell day in Ghana.
Mary Akua Ampomah strongly believes that with culturally-sensitive and evidence-based education, management and care, people living with SCD will live a better, longer and good quality of life irrespective of their geographical location.