Sickle Cell Disease Genomics Network of Africa

Kumasi is the capital city of the Ashanti Region of Ghana, and hosts the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), which are the two collaborating institutions for SickleGenAfrica in Kumasi. KNUST is the second largest public university in Ghana, with six main colleges for teaching and research while KATH is the largest tertiary hospital in the northern sector of Ghana. KATH has been running the Newborn Screening for Sickle Cell Disease Programme since 1995 and has a comprehensive Sickle Cell Clinic, the Kumasi Centre for Sickle Cell Disease. The Kumasi site has been the site for the Organ Damage in Sickle Cell Disease Study (ORDISS) which longitudinally followed about 1,000 SCD patients for organ damage. ORDISS is the pilot study for SickleGenAfrica. These factors make KATH the best place for our study in Kumasi.



Ellis Owusu-Dabo

Ellis is the Lead of the Kumasi site of the project. His responsibility is the general oversight of all activities of the study in Kumasi, while providing scientific and administrative directions to members within and outside Kumasi.

He earned his medical degree at KNUST and his specialist professional degree in Nigeria. He holds a PhD from the University of Nottingham, UK, and his areas of expertise include epidemiology of non-communicable disease, population genetics of pulmonary tuberculosis and health systems research.

Ellis is the Dean of the School of Public Health, KNUST. He was the Deputy Scientific Director and the Scientific Director of Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research (KCCR), KNUST, from 2010 to 2017. He was Co-Investigator on the Organ Damage in Sickle Cell Disease Study (ORDISS).

Outside of work he enjoys walking, and watching football and Formula 1.


Vivian Paintsil

Vivian is the Coordinator for the Kumasi site. She oversees the organization of all project activities in Kumasi. Also, she is the clinical lead and sees to the daily running of the project.


She completed KNUST with an MBChB and thereafter her fellowship training (FWACP), specialising in Paediatrics. She undertook a subspecialty training in Paediatric Haematology/Oncology in 2013 at the University of Cape Town; and has a certificate in Health Administration and Management.


Vivian is a Specialist Paediatrician, and has been taking care of children with SCD for the past 14 years. She has been involved in the Newborn Screening Project at KATH and ORDISS, and is currently on the Sickle Pan African Research Consortium (SPARCo) project. It is her dream to have a foundation to take care of SCD affected children.


Her hobbies are reading and watching movies.






Ezekiel Bonwin Ackah

Ezekiel is the Biomedical Scientist of at the Kumasi site. He ensures that samples are taken, processed and stored according to study designed standard protocols. Further, he is responsible for DNA extraction, certain investigations and shipment of all samples from Kumasi to the hub.


He earned his degree in Medical Laboratory Technology at KNUST. He has a 4-year working experience: 1 year in training at KATH and the remaining as a research laboratory scientist on ORDISS at KCCR. Joining this study is a strong force to enhance his understanding of the genetics and genomics of sickle cell disease, while keeping up-to-date with advancements in the management of the disease, and to help translate these into patient care.


Outside of work, he loves to listen to music, watch movies, read or go on a hike.



Joseph Sarfo Antwi

Joseph is the Community Liaison Officer. His role is to use focus group discussions to assess the network’s impact on local communities within and nearby Kumasi. This role is connected to the community engagement working group.


His first degree was from University of Ghana, Accra, with an MPhil in Reproductive Physiology in view, from KNUST.


Being part of the SickleGenAfrica team is paramount to increasing his understanding in sickle cell genomics, as well as improving the quality of care he gives to patients and their families.


Joseph has been with the center for Newborn Screening Project since 2000, and a part of the team for the Education and Counselling Component of the Project since 2002. Mr. Sarfo is one of 14 certified genetic counselors in Ghana.


Outside of work, he enjoys music and sports.


Caleb Sarfo Osei-Wusu

Caleb is the Data Manager at the Kumasi site. His responsibilities include planning and implementing efficient and secure procedures for data collection, handling and analysis. Also, he will assist with reports and data extraction when needed, troubleshoot and provide guidance on the maintenance or modification of data related issues.

He holds an undergraduate degree and postgraduate degree in public health (MPH) from KNUST. He has worked as a Research Assistant and Data Clerk/Analyst on several projects at KCCR. These include Research on Diabetes among African Migrants (RODAM), Cohort of Hypertension and Diabetes (CHAD) and Severe Typhoid in Africa (SETA) studies.

His hobbies are reading and listening to music.


Sickle Cell Disease Genomics Network of Africa (SickleGenAfrica).

SickleGenAfrica: A research network of the H3Africa consortium

Get in Touch

Administration & Examination Hall Building.

School of Biomedical and Allied Health Sciences.

University of Ghana,

Korle Bu, Accra, Ghana

Telephone: +233 30 397 0949


Project Manager

Justina Agula, MSc

Telephone: +233 24 814 9499


The SickleGenAfrica website content is solely the responsiblity of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

SickleGenAfrica is funded by NIH Common Fund Award / NHLBI Grant Number U54HL141011

© 2017 SickleGenAfrica