Good evening Prof: Should I marry this person?

Question: Good Evening Prof, A lady friend of mine is with SC since birth and she loves this guy who is AS. Should she go on with the marriage even though there is a 50% chance of having sickly children?

Dear C.M., It is not my normal habit to advise who should marry whom, but as you can see from the kanad pictured above with male phenotypes on one side, and female on the other your friend is “SC” (abnormal Haemoglobin ACHE ‘S’ gene from one of her parents, and abnormal Haemoglobin ACHE ‘C’ gene from the other parent, making her ache with sickle cell crisis at certain times.

As you observed, when the dice ACHEACHE on one side is thrown against the dice NORMACHE on the other the probability for each throw of the dice is 1 in 2 (50%) for ACHEACHE to show because the man will show NORM or ACHE with each throw. The sequence is unpredictable because the man may show NORM (‘A’) several times or ACHE (‘S’) several times. Moreover, depending on whether the lady’s ACHE is an egg carrying ACHE ‘S’ or egg with ACHE ‘C’ the children of this union may be ‘AC’ NORMACHE, (‘A’ from the man, ‘C’ from the lady, ‘AS’ NORMACHE like your lady friend’s man, ‘SS’ ACHEACHE, or ‘SC’ ACHEACHE like your lady friend. Please read this statement again until you can explain it to your lady friend. Now, my book “The Sickle Cell Disease Patient” describes exactly such a situation where a Staff Nurse “SC” asked me whether she should go ahead and marry her lover “AS”. After explaining to her just as I have done here, she said to me: “Doctor, I am a nurse and I can care for him when he is unwell. Moreover you have told your patients how to keep out of sickle cell crisis so even if we have “SS” or “SC” children we can cope.” Remember that my kanad shown above (Konotey-Ahulu Norm Ache Dice) has two main functions:

They show you (i) What Could Happen ie PROBABILITY, and what is more important (ii) PREDICTABILITY ie What Will Happen.

If someone tells me: “Doc, I have suffered too much with this hereditary ailment. I do not want any child of mine to suffer like I am doing. Show me the phenotype that I can marry so that even though I have ACHEACHE my children will never have ACHEACHE”. Well, simple: Pick the dice marked NORMNORM and it is impossible to have an ACHEACHE child. But remember that some ACHEACHE people are brighter, more beautiful, and more focussed than their siblings who do not ache. The first option is Genetic Gambling. The second option is Predicting Genetic Certainty.

But here is a beautiful true story: One of my brilliant ACHEACHE “SS” ACHIEVERS fell in love with a NORMACHE “AS” (Sickle Cell Trait) lady. They decided to go ahead and get married hoping that the first child will be from the NORM egg of the lady, and his ACHE sperm, then they will stop, and adopt their second child. Well Mr H.S. engaged this lady, married her, and they had a son, lovely son with all the elegance of the father and the combined genius of both of them, NORMACHE “AS” Sickle Cell Trait. The couple went on to adopt a daughter.

So my duty is to show the difference between Genetic Gambling (Probability), and Genetic Prediction with 100 per cent certainty. If ACHEACHE marries ACHEACHE all the children will be ACHEACHE as shown on the cover of my blue book:

See my website Those who choose Genetic Gambling because they are madly in love should know what could happen. They will limit their family size as Mr H. S. and his wife have done.

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Sickle Cell Trait Confusion: Is It Deliberate? Or Is This Ignorance?

Sickle Cell Trait Confusion: Is It Deliberate? Or Is This Ignorance?

I speak with authority as one who was born into a Sickle Cell Disease home within a Sickle Cell Trait country. One in every 5 of us in southern Ghana including nurses, doctors, business men and women, judges, liars, thieves, university professors, Parliamentarians, athletes, crooks, footballers, Olympic Medallists, and boxers has the Sickle Cell Trait.

In Northern Nigeria with a population of 90 million there are 30 Million Sickle Cell Traits. One in every three babies born there in Kano, Sokoto, Maedeguru is Sickle Cell Trait. And in Accra where I worked at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital every 1 in 5 babies of the 13000 consecutive deliveries we tested in 12 months had Sickle Cell Trait.

What is more, 1 in every 3 of the white people in Greece where Lake Kopais used to be is Sickle Cell Trait! And now, lo and behold, “In Fontana August is Sickle Cell Trait Prevention Month”. Are they serious in suggesting Sickle Cell Trait needs preventing? Making 1 in 5 of us Ghanaians feel guilty for being born because we are Sickle Cell Trait? Even Sickle Cell Disease Patients need not feel guilty because they often have brilliant genes that their siblings do not possess.

Seriously, believe me, there are two kinds of readers of this Facebook post:

(1) Those who want to learn from me whom Nobel Laureate Professor Linus Pauling listened to when I delivered the Martin Luther King Award Lecture in Philadelphia on the Topic “The Vital Difference Between Sickle Cell Trait and Sickle Cell Disease”, and

(2) Those who prefer what Fontana teaches on Sickle Cell Trait.

For those who have time for me, please set time aside and study the following articles very, very, very carefully:


  1. Blaming sudden death on Sickle Cell Trait? 
  2. Sickle Cell Trait Misinformation and Disinformation
  3. Further Communication on Sickle Cell Trait Misinformation and Disinformation and Sickle Cell Terminology: Disease  or Disorder? 
  4. World Sickle Cell Day 19h June 2014 
  5. Beware of symptomatic sickle cell traits. Lancet, February 29, 1992, page 555.
  6. Dangerously flawed diagnosis of sickle cell trait in compartment syndrome rhabdomyolysis
  7. Sickle Cell Trait: As with statins when leading editors disagree please give principles same weight as details/
  8.    Tafracher BMJ 8th June 1975

This Ghanaian word Tafracher allows me to call a spade a spade, as it were. [It allows me to say articles describing Sickle Cell Trait as Sickle Cell Disease are (Tafracher) rubbish for how can a Sickle Cell Trait man run at 7000 ft at Olympic Games and beat the whole world with a disease?] 

If you absorb all this information you can help your colleagues and even your doctors in saying exactly what Sickle Cell Trait is, and what it is not.

Felix Konotey-Ahulu FGA MD(Lond) FRCP(Lond) FRCP(Glasg) DTMH FGCP FWACP FTWAS Kwegyir Aggrey Distinguished Professor of Human Genetics, University Cape Coast Ghana, & Former Consultant Physician Genetic Counsellor Sickle Cell & Other Haemoglobinopathies, Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Accra Ghana, and 9 Harley Street London W1G 9AL [ ] Twitter Felix@profkonoteyahul

Further BMJ Links especially for doctors, nurses & science graduates.

  1. Overseas Med. Graduates
  2. Routine Tests not to be abandoned
  3. BMA AGM 2017 On Abortion

Finally, Sickle (S) is not the only aching gene we can be born with. The second commonest abnormal Haemoglobin aching gene is “C”. Test for “S” alone (Sickle Cell Test) is not enough. I always test for other genes, not just for Sickle Cell Trait. You can be Sickle Test Negative (that is No “S”) and yet be “C” Positive, enabling you and your Sickle-Positive-”S” spouse to have a child who has two aching genes “S” + “C” to produce Hereditary Rheumatism (Sickle Cell Disease), never ever to be called “SC Trait”, but only to be known as “SC Disease”. Sickle Cell Trait is “AS”, never “SC”. I was born surrounded by both. I know the difference.

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World Sicklecell Disease Patient Week – Videos

World Sickle Cell Disease Patient Week

After a successful week of videos in July I have put them all together in one post for you to view.

There is such an event called “World Sickle Cell Day” which falls in mid-June every year.

For me who had two brothers and one sister (Victor Agbetey, Jerry Tei and Sussie Konotey-Ahulu) with hereditary cold-season rheumatism or hemikom as this has always been known in my Krobo Tribe in Ghana as the name for Sickle Cell Disease – one day in a year is not enough attention given to a very important problem.

Day 1
Professor Konotey-Ahulu explains the reasons behind the Sicklecell Disease Patient Week and a bit about his history.

Day 2
Professor Konotey-Ahulu interviews an achiever of over 50 years old.

Day 3
Professor Konotey-Ahulu talks about the various African tribes which have various names for the Sicklecell disease. He also explains the difference between trait and the disease.

Day 4
Professor Konotey-Ahulu gives a round up of the videos published and a bit more history on what he found during his career.

Day 5
Professor Konotey-Ahulu continues to talk to an achiever on how he stopped the disease from taking over his life and reduced crises periods.

Day 6
Professor Konotey-Ahulu explains his dice (KANAD) and how it can help explain how people get the disease.

Day 7
An achiever Akosua M Dankwa talks about the Sicklecell Disease and how it has affected her life.

The Sickle Disease Patient book is now on sale at a 50% discount. The book can now be purchased here FREE KANAD dice with each purchase whilst stock lasts.

Facebook Event –
Books –

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World Sickle Cell Disease Patient Week – 20% off our books

World Sickle Cell Patient week

Today is the start of World Sickle Cell Disease Patient Week and we are offering 20% off our books till 31st August 2017.

To view the event on Facebook look out for my videos during the week starting today. 

World Sickle Cell Disease Patient Week

Use the following code at the checkout WSCDPW2017 to get you 20% discount  plus an added bonus a special free gift of a pack of kanad (Konotey-Ahulu Norm Ache Dice) when you purchase a book from our store during the World Sickle Cell Disease Patient Week.

My books are available here

kanad (Konotey-Ahulu Norm Ache Dice)
Free gift when purchasing our books till 22nd July 2017
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World Sickle Cell Disease Patient Week

World Sickle Cell Disease Patient Week

WSCDPW [World Sickle Cell Disease Patient Week]

There is such an event called “World Sickle Cell Day” which falls in mid-June every year.

For me who had two brothers and one sister (Victor Agbetey, Jerry Tei and Sussie Konotey-Ahulu) with hereditary cold-season rheumatism or hemikom as this has always been known in my Krobo Tribe in Ghana as the name for Sickle Cell Disease – one day in a year is not enough attention given to a very important problem.

Therefore, I am from July 12 2017, God willing, devoting a whole week to what I am calling WSCDPW ie World Sickle Cell Disease Person or Patient Week – the P is for Person or Patient for, as I hope to show you, some-one with sickle cell disease does not have to be going in and out of hospital regularly and frequently.

So there will be something for 12, 13 14, 16 17, 18 of July, with 15th July as a rest day. During the week matters concerning the Person with sickle cell disease will be discussed. My greatest credential is that from the day I was born several decades ago I was within my immediate family and the extended family surrounded by sickle cell disease relatives – this credential of mine is more important than the fact that as a doctor, I ran the largest Sickle Cell Disease Clinic in the world at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital. And indeed more important than the fact that with Professor Linus Pauling (discoverer of the molecular pathology of sickle cell haemoglobin for which he got the Nobel Prize) on the platform I was chosen from among 24 Dr Martin Luther Jing Jr Foundation Award Winners for Sickle Cell Research world-wide, to deliver the Award Dinner Lecture in Philadelphia on Wednesday 31st May 1972, the title of my Award Lecture being “The Vital Difference Between Sickle Cell Trait and Sickle Cell Disease”. This does not compare with the fact that I knew about the sickle cell disease patient before I read Medicine.

So, the fact that I was born into a home where my sibllings, and cousins, and aunts, and uncles suffered from sickle cell disease is why I dare to introduce a WSCDPW or World Sickle Cell Disease Patient Week. My aim is not to indulge in controversy. My sole aim, and I mean this, my sole aim is to tell those like my brothers and one sister who inherited an abnormal haemoglobin from both father and mother to give them sickle cell disease – to tell them that they have inherited other genes from the same parents that can produce great achievement in their lives. I shall be greatly privileged to introduce some of these ACHIEVERS to the world, and to help those struggling at the moment with pain and other problems how to succeed. My 643-page book describes no less than 130 real patients and their problems and how they have succeeded or not succeeded in tackling them. Watch this space! My website also has much information.

Professor Felix I D Konotey-Ahulu [whose parents were Traits for Abnormal Haemoglobin genes and whose 3 siblings had sickle cell disease].
Kwegyir Aggrey Distinguished Professor of Human Genetics, University of Cape Coast Ghana, and Former Consultant Physician Genetic Counsellor Korle Bu Teaching Hospital Ghana and 9 Harley Street, London W1G 9AL.

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Should we abandon routine blood tests?

Re: Should we abandon routine blood tests? No, not when hereditary erythrocytopathy poses a real problem in a so-called multi-racial population!

Should we abandon routine blood tests_fb

Should we abandon routine blood tests? No, not when hereditary erythrocytopathy poses a real problem in a so-called multi-racial population!


The name “K Siau” [1] sounds Ghanaian from Kwahu Tribe, while the initial K could stand for any of the 7 Ghanaian Male Day-Names: Kwesi – Sunday to > Kwame – Saturday. [Our Kofi Annan was Friday-born]. If Siau is Ghanaian, then he may well be one of the “1 in 3 West Africans” who have inherited the abnormal haemoglobin gene ‘S’ or ‘C’, from one parent, not to mention the 1 in 4 males with Glucose 6 Phosphate Dehydrogenase (G6PD) Deficiency [2 3]. Millions of healthy West Africans in the UK have one gene for hereditary erythrocytopathy (abnormal haemoglobin S or C, plus or minus G6PD Deficiency) [4 5]. Routine blood tests performed just once can discern these [5]. UK is no longer entirely Caucasian therefore doctors need to unmask erythrocytopathy.


Orthopaedic Trainee Dr Alastair Faulkner [6] may have read my account [7] of a postgraduate ward round many years ago. After being asked to examine a white patient I gave my Clinical Impression: “This jaundiced Greek patient with pale nails, scars on one shoulder and right hypochondrium, and with limited straight leg elevation of right leg has avascular necrosis of the shoulder, avascular necrosis of one femoral head, and has had gall stones removed because of chronic haemolysis from Sickle Cell beta-Thalassaemia” [7] Duly impressed, Professor Milne produced laboratory results confirming my diagnosis proving that NOT ONLY BLACK PEOPLE SUFFER FROM SICKLE CELL DISEASE. In Greece, around Lake Kopais, the 30% incidence of sickle cell trait was higher than anywhere in Ghana [8-10]. Any new patient I ever had – Black, White, Hebrew, Asian or Indian must routinely have Haemoglobin Electrophoresis and G6PD test done and be given a Certificate of the findings.


Dr Sam Lewis [11] mentions the “nit-picking rejection of lab requests” in the NHS. When Clinicians request certain tests, NHS Pathologists often decide which to accept and reject. While Locum Consultant Physician in a London Hospital I requested Haemoglobin Electrophoresis on a woman, only for the Pathologist to send a report: “Sickling Test Negative”. I protested I never asked for a Sickling Test; could I have Haemoglobin Electrophoresis, please? The Haematologist asked why if sickling test was Negative I wanted Haemoglobin Electrophoresis? I then told him I had in Ghana the largest collection of Homozygous Haemoglobin C Disease patients (CC) in the world (all sickling negative) and that it was a common cause of miscarriage in pregnant women [12] The Pathologist still refused to do the test so I sent the lady to a Private Lab where Haemoglobin CC Phenotype was confirmed. As husband was Sickle Cell Trait (AS) I counselled them, advising that they should expect to have Sickle Cell Disease (SC) and Haemoglobin C Trait (AC) offspring. [13]


Do not wait till patients complain of “passing urine like coca cola”. Always testing new patients for Abnormal Haemoglobins and G6PD Deficiency was how we discovered that G6PD Deficiency was not just a haemolysis problem, but could aggravate the course of typhoid fever, renal failure, muscle pain, duration of coma from any cause, and the prognosis of sickle cell disease. [2 3 14 -20]. That was how we discovered the first ever African with zero G6PD enzyme in his red cells – a phenomenon thought only to exist in Mediterranean Caucasians. [21 22]. Ringelhann [23], Beutler [24], James Bowman and Robert Murray [25] confirmed high levels of G6PD Deficiency in Blacks on both sides of The Atlantic. Luzzatto, examining 100 “SS” males found 16% to be G6PD Deficient [26]. As salmonellosis is common in sickle cell disease [27 28], and Chloramphenicol is contraindicated in G6PD Deficiency, this test requires doing for all sickle cell disease patients [19].


Relying only on G6PD Colour Tests would have missed our zero-enzyme patients. Quantification is vital for both Abnormal Haemoglobin and G6PD enzyme. That was how we knew that Sickle Cell Traits have 3 modes of Haemoglobin S (20-25%, 30-35%, 36-39.5%) [29] which fact enables us to distinguish the true Sickle Cell Trait (“AS” with S less than 40%) from Sickle Cell beta-plus Thalassaemia Disease (2 abnormal genes) with Sickle gene product way above 50% [28 29 30].
WHO and International Atomic Energy Agency grants funded our tests. [5 28].


I have described a white Englishman (Hb D Trait) married to a Ghanaian lady (Hb S Trait) and their 2 sickle cell disease daughters (Ref 28, Illustrative Case History 133). If NHS budget is unable to sustain such a routine test burden shall we not ask enquirers to go Private for their health’s sake? Dr K Siau believes while we needed to “avoid unnecessary repetition of blood tests” [1] some routine tests “should be considered part of holistic Medicine …” [1]. Three out of every 100 West Africans in the UK have inherited TWO ABNORMAL HAEMOGLOBIN genes causing hereditary disease capable of showing up in any Clinical Discipline [See the 133 Illustrated Case Histories in Reference 28] not to mention the non-haematological complications of G6PD Deficiency [2 3 20 28 29]. I once expressed disappointment when a seven-part series on genetic epidemiology by “three white professors began in The Lancet on September 10, 2005” [30] only for the series to end without once mentioning the genetic burden of west Africans in the UK. [29]. Will Dr K Siau now add our West African statistics to those of the “4000 Danish patients” he produced [1]? As I said in 1982, we needed to “unearth the hundreds of cases of SC sickle cell disease, some of whom are bread winners, before they are brought in dying or dead in their first crisis for 10 years” [31]

Conflict of Interest: My Parents Heterozygote for Abnormal Hbns (“AC” & “AS”) had 11 children: 3 Sickle Cell Disease “SC”, 2 Heterozygotes “AC”, 2 Heterozygotes “AS”, 4 Homozygotes “AA” [32]. Twitter@profkonoteyahul

F I D Konotey-Ahulu MD(Lond) FRCP(Lond) FRCP(G) DTMH(L’pool) FGCP FWACP FTWAS
Kwegyir Aggrey Distinguished Professor of Human Genetics, University of Cape Coast, Ghana. Former Consultant Physician/Genetic Counsellor in Sickle & Other Haemoglobinopathies, Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Accra, Ghana and at 9 Harley Street, London WIG 1AA. [ ]


1 Siau K. Should we abandon routine blood tests? BMJ Rapid Response 8 May 2017.

2 Owusu SK. Glucose 6 Phosphate Dehydrogenase Deficiency in the causation of disease in Ghana. Ghana Med J 1974; 13: 168-170.

3 Konotey-Ahulu FID. Glucose 6 Phosphate Dehydrogenase Deficiency and Disease Causation in Ghana. (Editorial) Ghana Medical Journal 1974; 13: 155-158.

4 Ringelhann B, Dodu SRA, Konotey-Ahulu FID. Lehmann H. A survey for haemoglobin variants, thalassaemia, and Glucose 6 phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency in northern Ghana. Ghana Med J 1968; 17: 120-124.

5 Ringelhann B, Konotey-Ahulu FID. Hemoglobinopathies and thalassaemias in Mediterranean areas and in West Africa: Historical and other perspectives 1910 to 1997 – A Century Review. Atti dell’Accademia dell Science di Ferrara (Milan) 1998;74: 267-307

6. Faulkner Alastair, Reidy Mike, McGowan James. Should we abandon routine blood tests? BMJ 2017; 357: j2091

7 Konotey-Ahulu FID. Hip pain and radiographic signs of osteoarthritis: Sickle cell and other haemoglobinopathy differential diagnosis. BMJ Rapid Response 8 January 2016

8 Choremis G, Sickle cell anaemia in Greece. Lancet 1951; 1: 1147.

9 Choremis G. Sickle cell trait and blood groups in Greece. Lancet 1953; 2: 901-911.

10 Delyannis GA, Tavlarakis N. Sickling phenomenon in Northern Greece. BMJ 1955; 2: 299-301.

11 Lewis Sam. Should we abandon routine blood tests? BMJ Rapid Response May 4 2017

12 Konotey-Ahulu FID. Homozygous Haemoglobin C Disease. In FID Konotey-Ahulu. The spectrum of phenotypic expression of clinical haemoglobinopathy in West Africa. New Istanbul Contribution to Clinical Science 1978 Dec; 12(3-4): 246-257.

13 Konotey-Ahulu FID. SICKLE CELL DISEASE: The Case for Family Planning. Astab Books Ltd., Accra Ghana 1973.

14 Owusu SK. Clinical manifestations of glucose 6 phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency in Ghana. Ghana Medical J 1978; 17: 235-239.

15 Owusu SK, Foli AK, Konotey-Ahulu FID, Janosi M. Frequency of Glucose 6 Phosphate Deficiency in typhoid fever in Ghana. Lancet 1972; 1: 320.

16 Adu D, Anim-Addo Y, Foli AK, Yeboah ED, Quartey JKM. Acute renal failure and typhoid fever. Ghana Medical Journal 1975; 14: 172-174.

17 Owusu SK, Addy JH, Foli AK, Janosi Marianne, Konotey-Ahulu FID, Larbi EB. Acute reversible renal failure associated with glucose 6 phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency. Lancet 1972; 1: 1255-1257.

18 Konotey-Ahulu FID. Glucose 6 phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency and sickle cell anaemia. New Eng J Med 1972; 287: 887-888.

19 Acquaye CTA, Gbedemah KA, Konotey-Ahulu FID. Glucose 6 phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency incidence in sickle cell disease in Accra. Ghana Med J 1977; 16: 4-7.

20 Konotey-Ahulu FID. G6PD Deficiency in Ghanaians: How to recognize it. 16 2008.

21 Owusu SK. Absence of glucose 6 phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) in red cells of an African. BMJ 1972; 4: 25-26

22 Owusu SK, Opare-Mante A. Electrophoretic characterization of glucose 6 phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) enzyme in Ghana. Ghana Medical Journal 1972; 11: 304

23 Ringelhann Bela. A simple laboratory procedure for the recognition of the A (African Type) G6PD Deficiency in acute haemolytic crisis. Clin. Chim. Acta 1972; 36: 272-274.

24 Beutler E. Genetic Disorders of Red Cell Metabolism. Medical Clinics of North America 1969; 53: 813-826.

25 Bowman James E, Murray Robert F. Genetic Variation and Disorders in Peoples of African Origin. The Johns Hopkins University Press Ltd, London 1990, pp 171-190.

26 Luzzatto Lucius. G6PD Deficiency frequency and sickle cell association on the African continent. INSERM 1975; 44: 229.

27 Konotey-Ahulu FID, Kuma Eunice. Skeletal crumbling in sickle cell anaemia complicated by Salmonella Typhi infection. British J Clin Practice1965; 575-578.

28 Konotey-Ahulu FID. The Sickle Cell Disease Patient. Natural History from a clinico-epidemiological study of the first 1550 patients of Korle Bu Hospital Sickle Cell Clinic. T-A’D Company Watford 1996 [First Published 1991 & 1992 The Macmillan Press Ltd., London and Basingstoke] – 643 pages. [This book has 133 Illustrated Case Histories not found elsewhere]

29 Konotey-Ahulu FID. Alpha-Thalassaemia nomenclature and abnormal haemoglobins. Lancet 1984; 1: 1024-1025.

30 Weatherall DJ, Clegg JB. The Thalassaemia Syndromes 1981. Third Edition, Blackwell Scientific. Oxford.

31 Konotey-Ahulu FID. Survey of sickle cell disease in England and Wales.…
BMJ 1982; 284: 111 (January 9)

32 Konotey-Ahulu FID. Sickle Cell Disease in Successive Ghanaian Generations for Three Centuries (Manya Krobo Tribe) Chapter 2 Reference 28 pp 6-20, and FID Konotey-Ahulu in The Human Genome Diversity Project: Cogitations of An African Native. Politics and The Life Sciences (PLS) 1999; Vol 18: No 2, pp 317-322 [Invited Commentary on Professor David Resnik’s article: The Human Genome Diversity Project: Ethical Problems and Solutions]

Competing interests: My Parents Heterozygote for Abnormal Hbns (“AC” & “AS”) had 11 children: 3 Sickle Cell Disease “SC”, 2 Heterozygotes “AC”, 2 Heterozygotes “AS”, 4 Homozygotes “AA” [32].

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Rev Dr David Silas Laweh Konotey-Ahulu


February 19 2017 was the last Sunday on earth for my younger brother Laweh – Braa Laweh as I called him. I had arrived the previous Friday night from London and, determined not to go to bed without visiting him at home I let the hotel reception ring Joanna, Laweh’s wife and say “A big parcel has arrived from London for you; call to collect it.” Promptly came the reply – it was late, and not easy to get a taxi in the middle of Teshie. Could she not come on Saturday morning instead? “No, it must be tonight”.

Brochure Cover Picture

Click here to read more – Tribute By PROFESSOR F I D KONOTEY-AHULU

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UK Practice versus Ghana Practice: kascdispatma

Re: International medical graduates and quality of care: What if quality of care in developing country is better than UK’s?

Re: International medical graduates and quality of care Aneez Esmail, Julian Simpson. 356:doi10.1136/bmj.j574 International Medical Graduates and quality of care: What if quality of care in developing country is better than UK’s?

The excellent Editorial [February 6 2017] of Professor Aneez Esmail and Julian Simpson, hemmed in as it is to comparing and contrasting UK health care [1] with that of the USA vis-à-vis foreign trained doctors, was not expected to address the question: What if certain aspects of the quality of care in a developing country, say Ghana, is better than that in the UK? What is a doctor trained in Ghana by UK-trained doctors to do when he/she sees something taught at home is contradicted by UK practice with disastrous results?

I dare to ask 21st Century Clinicians to compare themselves with those who taught me, and state honestly whether apart from the CT Scans, Ultrasound machines, MRI’s, and microsurgical techniques, they boast better clinical acumen than these grand-teachers?. I was trained at London University’s Westminster Hospital School of Medicine by the world’s greatest – Sir Clement Price-Thomas, Surgeon of King George VI, Sir Richard Bayliss Physician of Queen Elizabeth II, Sir Stanford Cade, World Number One in cancer surgery assisted by Charlie Westbury MS MRCP FRCS, then Professor J Pulvertaft (Pathology), Sir Arthur Bell Obs/Gynae, etc. and at the Post-graduate level Malariologist Professor Brian Maegraith, Liverpool University School of Tropical Medicine, Sir John Dacie, Haematologist at Hammersmith Hospital where Professors John Goodwin (Cardiology) and J McMichael assisted by Dr Celia Oakley taught me Cardiology, and where I first met Dr Geraint James who introduced me to his wife Professor (later Dame) Sheila Sherlock [2 3] of Royal Free Hospital, where I worked with the Artificial Kidney King of Europe Dr Stanley Shaldon. All these were Clinicians with the “History-Inspection-Palpation-Percussion-Auscultation” (HIPPA) approach to patient care which was what I taught my undergraduate and post-graduate students in Ghana. Then at Cambridge University I was very fortunate to be instructed in Haemoglobinopathy and G6PD Enzymopathy by Professor Hermann Lehmann FRS the Doyen of Abnormal Haemoglobins.

Back home in Ghana my Mentors were Colonial Physician Dr Albert Hawe MD FRCP [4] and Ghanaian Dr Silas Dodu MD FRCP DTMH who had collected most of the prizes at the University of Sheffield.

When the National Foundation and the March of Dimes paid for a 6-week tour of 11 leading Medical Institutions in the USA 45 years ago, and I did Grand Rounds at Cornell, George Washington University Hospital, Columbia University, Johns Hopkins, Yale, Howard, Tennessee, Indianapolis etc, and I often made Haemoglobin phenotype diagnoses without X-rays and Lab results but by just examining the patient using HIPPA
the Professors were so astounded they asked how I did it, and I just said “It’s the British Undergraduate Exercise that prepared me for the bush”.

The situation in the UK has drastically changed. Ghanaian doctors we taught would end up in the UK and be introduced to practice that looked at the blood of the patient before looking at the patient – quite opposite to what we taught them, preferring to look at Protocols hung up on a wall without realising that what is good for one patient may be poison for another. Or that what is recommended by NICE Guidelines could be killing patients [5-7]. How many British doctors, I wonder, are aware that I said 42 years ago in The Lancet that blood transfusion precipitated sickle cell crises? [8] Or that Graham Serjeant described a sickle cell anaemia lady he had never transfused but who going to the USA on holiday from Jamaica, checked into a Clinic for routine tests, was found to be anaemic and promptly transfused, only to die within 48 hours? [9] Or that I have described an “SS” man who would go into sickle cell crisis whenever Haemoglobin level rose above 9 grams per deci-Litre? [10]? I once referred one such patient to Professor Lucio Luzzatto at London’s Post-Graduate Medical School Hammersmith Hospital to venesect her every 6 months to bring Hb below 9 grams lest she went into sickle crisis. Sadly, with dogged determination British doctors would follow a Protocol that said Hb should not fall below 11.0 grams per deci Litre [11]. How many British Doctors would persist with Morphine and Diamorphine even when NCEPOD Report damned the Opiate Culture? [12-19]. Yet NICE continues to recommend intravenous Opiates? [5-7 12-19].

Even when a Nigerian Consultant Haematologist in a UK Teaching Hospital, himself “SS,” wrote a BMJ Editorial on Hydroxyurea saying “patients had been voting with their feet due to side effects” [20 21] clinicians continued to prescribe it.

My immediate elder brother, my immediate younger brother, and the 5th of my parents’ 11 children had sickle cell disease [22]. I know the disease first hand. Having grown tired of criticising other clinicians about their mismanagement of patients with sickle cell disease I am offering doctors, nurses, patients and their relatives a real alternative to what the rest of the world (apart from Graham Serjeant [23] in the West Indies) prescribes [24]. My approach brings hospitalisation to a minimum, preferring patient management to disease treatment [25-29]. My kascdispatma (spelt fully above) produces PATIENT ACHIEVERS who use their non-abnormal haemoglobin genes inherited from the same parents to achieve things that their siblings without the disease have not achieved [30 31]. G6PD status of patients, meaningful genetic counselling with voluntary family size limitation [32], avoidance of harmful received wisdom underline the Common Sense Public Health Approach that is the defining feature of kascdispatma When Professor Helen Ranney of Albert Einstein University College of Medicine New York says “There is no single clinical experience in the United States comparable to that of Dr Konotey-Ahulu “[33] should not serious clinicians and parents struggling to look after sickle cell disease patients try my kascdispatma?.

Felix I D Konotey-Ahulu FGA MD(Lond) FRCP(Lond & Glasg) DTMH(L’pool) FGCP FWACP FTWAS

Conflict of Interest: None Declared

1 Aneez Esmail, Simpson Julian. International medical graduates and quality of care. BMJ 2017; 356: j574 (6 February 2017) doi:

2 Konotey-Ahulu FID. Konotey-Ahulu FID. Dame Sheila Sherlock’s Third World Dimension. BMJ rapid response 20 Jan 2002

3 Konotey-Ahulu FID. David Geraint James: Great Champion of Overseas Postgraduates. 18 Nov 2010 [Response to BMJ 341:doi.1136/bmj.c6400] See Ref 170 on Dame Sheila Sherlock 20 Jan 2002. |

4 Konotey-Ahulu FID. Some personal encounters with a remarkable physician. (Tribute to Dr Albert Joseph Howe, OBE, CBE, MD, FRCP, DTMH). Ghana Med J 1979; 18: 88-90.

5 Gillis VL, Senthinathan , Dzingina M, Chamberlain K, Banks K, Baker MR, Longson D [Guideline Development Group]. Management of an acute painful sickle cell episode in hospital. Summary of NICE Guidance. BMJ 2012; 344: e4063 [doi:101136/bmj.e4063]

6 Konotey-Ahulu FID. UK drug related deaths are still rising: So where is NICE? Sept. 6 2009 BMJ Rapid Response to Susan Mayor on “UK drug related deaths are still rising 2 reports say” BMJ Sep 6.

7 Konotey-Ahulu FID. Management of an acute painful sickle cell episode in hospital: NICE guidance is frightening1 Sept 7 2012 [42 references]

8 Konotey-Ahulu FID. Sicklaemic human hygrometers. Lancet 1965 May 8; 1(7393): 1003-1004.

9 Serjeant GR. Blood transfusion in sickle cell disease: A cautionary tale. Lancet 2003; 361: 1659

10 Konotey-Ahulu, FID. The Sickle Cell Disease Patient. Macmillan Education Ltd London 1991/1992. Foreword by Roland B Scott, MD (Howard University) – 36 chapters with 4,500 references, 643 pages. ISBN: 0-333-39239-6 & Konotey-Ahulu FID. The Sickle Cell Disease Patient, Watford: Tetteh-A’Domeno Co, 1996 Reprint of 1991 Macmillan book] [Hb > 9.0 grams >crises, p.482 Case History 21]

11 Claster Susan, Vichinsky Elliott P. Managing sickle cell disease. BMJ 1997; 327: 1151-1155. Doi:10.1136/bmj.327.7424.1151.

12…NCEPOD (National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death). Sickle: A Sickle Crisis? (2008) [Sebastian Lucas (Clinical Co-ordinator), David Mason (Clinical Co-ordinator), M Mason (Chief Executive), D Weyman (Researcher), Tom Treasurer (Chairman)

13 …Konotey-Ahulu FID. Poor care for sickle cell disease patients: This wake up call is overdue BMJ Rapid Response May 28 2008 BMJ 2008; 336: 1152 to Susan Mayor “Enquiry shows poor care for patients with sickle cell disease” on National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death (NCEPOD) REPORT “SICKLE: A Sickle Crisis? (2008) |

14 Konotey-Ahulu FID. Inquest into diamorphine deaths: Does NCEPOD sickle patients report warrant a similar inquest? BMJ Rapid Response March 7 2009

15 Konotey-Ahulu FID. Opiates for sickle-cell crisis? Lancet 1998; 351: 1438. [“The question that puzzles me is: why do west African and West Indian patients with sickle-cell disease who did without morphine in their countries have to be given morphine pumps during sickle-cell crises when they come to the UK?”]

16 Konotey-Ahulu FID. Opiates for sickle-cell crisis. Lancet 1998; 352: 651-652. [In response to David Bevan’s criticism (in Lancet 1998; 351: page 1965) of white physicians who agree with Dr Konotey-Ahulu that opiates have created addicts in their hospital – “When I say routine opiates for sickle crisis are not the way to bring out these patients’ best potential in the long term I am glad to hear white physicians say the same…White physicians who, at the risk of being misunderstood by Bevan, voice their displeasure at what they see happening on their wards deserve commendation, not condemnation.”]

17 Konotey-Ahulu FID. Current “hit and miss” care provision for sickle cell disease patients in the UK. BMJ Rapid Response 22 July 2008

18 Konotey-Ahulu FID. Management of sickle cell disease versus management of the sickle cell disease patient. BMJ Rapid Response 17 September 2008

19 Konotey-Ahulu FID. Management of sickle cell disease patient in the community BMJ Rapid Response 13 April 2014 [90 References] to Brousse V, Makali J, Rees DC: Management of sickle cell disease in the community. BMJ 2014; 348: g1765 doi:10.1136/bmj.g1765

20 Olujohungbe A, Cinkotai KI, Yardumian A. Hydroxyurea therapy for sickle cell disease in Britain. BMJ 1998; 316: 1689 (6 June)

21 Konotey-Ahulu FID. Management of patients with sickle cell disease. African Journal of Health Sciences 1998; 5: 47[ Commenting on article of Sally Davies and Lola Oni (BMJ 315: 656 -60) “what I feel is more important in the day to day management of patients with a view to keeping them out of hospital, is clinical epidemiology which includes the circumstances of crises. Two examples suffice to ilustrate what I mean: … I fear Davies
and Oni’s statement that ‘The Central Middlesex management protocol uses morphine infusions’ will make morphine the accepted drug for sickle crisis management. The consequences of such an approach are dire, especially when some UK hospitals are already making diamorphine their first choice”.]

22 Konotey-Ahulu FID. The Human Genome Diversity Project: Cogitations of An African Native. Politics and the Life Sciences (PLS) 1999, Vol 18: No 2, pp 317-322. [Invited Commentary on Professor David Resnik’s article: The Human Genome Diversity Project: Ethical Problems and Solutions. [Chart “Sickle Cell Disease in Successive Ghanaian Generations for Three Centuries”]

23 Serjeant GR. Sickle Cell Disease. Oxford. Oxford Univ. Press (2nd Edition) (632 pages)

24 Davies SC, Oni L. Management of patients with sickle cell disease. BMJ 1997; 315: 656-660.

25 Konotey-Ahulu FID. The inheritance of Sickle Cell Disease. New African January 2000, pp 40-43

26 Konotey-Ahulu FID. The Person with Sickle Cell Disease. New African March 2001, pp 38-39.

27 Konotey-Ahulu FID. Teenager with Sickle Cell Disease. New African. June 2001, 41-42

28 Konotey-Ahulu FID. Adult with Sickle Cell Disease. New African Sep. 2001, pp 40-43. |

29 Konotey-Ahulu FID. Sickle-cell disease and the patient. Lancet 2005; 365(9457): 382-83 January 29-February 4. [Commenting on Marie Stuart & Ronald Nagel’s “Sickle-cell disease” Seminar in Lancet 364: 1343-60, and Michaela Buckner’s “Sickle-cell disease: from Sierra Leone to southeast London” Lancet 364: 1361, it is pointed out that “Stuart and Nagel missed something out of their Seminar, which Michaela emphasizes – circumstances.”

30 Konotey-Ahulu FID. Sickle cell achievers’ conference. SICKLE CELL News Review 1995; Summer Edition: 5.

31 Omaboe Letitia, Konotey-Ahulu FID. The Second International Conference On The Achievements of Sickle Cell Disease Patients. Accra 19th July 1995 Conference Brochure 19pp

32 Konotey-Ahulu FID. Sickle Cell and Allied Haemoglobinopathy: The Genetics That Touches You and Me – University of Cape Coast, Ghana, GOLDEN JUBILEE MESSAGE. (Sept 19 2014)

33 Ranney Helen. “There is no single clinical experience in the United States comparable to that of Dr Konotey-Ahulu”. In Summary of Symposium on Sickle Cell Disease – Diagnosis, Management, Education, and Research – In Sickle Cell Disease, Editors Abramson, JF Bertles, Doris Wethers (C. Mosby & Co) 1972, page 320.

Competing interests: No competing interests

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Evidence in a post-truth world: Scientists’ Misinformation & Disinformation

Dr Margaret McCartney highlights something most doctors ignore [1] Her “seams of multiple misinformation” become disinformation when deliberate, as when “Journal agrees to retract paper after university found study was never done” [2].


“There is no real evidence that e-cigarettes do any harm”, is interpreted as “e-fags are harmless”. No evidence is increasingly used as evidence [3]. Prefix “scientific” to “truth”, and Einstein expects integrity. [4] When three doctors confessed that tests they published had been done were in fact not done I concluded letter to BMJ Editor Dr Martin Ware:

“Your readers, Sir, are interested in scientific truth. I am one of them, and the very least I am entitled to expect is that if evidence obtained from my own country cannot be scientific it should at least be true. – I am etc., F I D KONOTEY-AHULU” [5]


Lord Solly Zuckerman FRS said in his excellent article “Pride and Prejudice in Science” that disagreements about truth were often coloured by prejudice, and sometimes fraud. [6] I’ve discussed elsewhere experts’ disagreements. [7]. That Ethics is deprecated and Science re-defined by some scientists is sad. Two examples: (a) Design in nature is now not science [8]. (b) Programmes to genome-sequence whole populations anonymously [9 10] against which I have protested, indicating how dangerous this is in an “Anti-truth world” [11]. Had James Watson been genome-sequenced anonymously would the truth have come out?


James Watson announced that the current global genome-sequencing exercise would show that Africans were less intelligent than other “races” [12], using the term “race” just as Charles Darwin had done: “The Origin of Species By Natural Selection – Or The Preservation Of Favoured Races In The Struggle For Life” [13]. Watson’s three to four trillion DNA bits in his genome were sequenced only to discover that his great-grandparent was African [14]. Convinced he belonged to the “favoured white race” he in fact had a great-grand parent from the African “un-favoured race”. I commented: “Watson, still alive today in the USA, was thus brutally reminded not only that there is but one human race, but also that African genes contributed to the Nobel Prize in ‘Physiology or Medicine’ which he jointly won with Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins in 1962 on the DNA Double Helix” [15]. James Watson’s opinion was taken as scientific truth because Nobel Laureates are not supposed to be economical with the truth. The Human Genome Project became suspect [11 16 17], and this exposes the
real problem with research in Human Sciences including IQ, Linguistics and even History. Researchers wax eloquent about “Evolutionary Ethics”, making ex cathedra statements like “The capacity to develop ethics is a product of biological evolution” [18]. Such Evolutionary Fundamentalism is considered “scientific truth” while “GOD commanded, and universe materialized” [19] is ridiculed?


Three events in a Lecture Series on Evolution by J Z Young FRS at University College London [20] convinced me that Darwin’s Evolution by Natural Selection never took place. It was more than 3 decades later that another Fellow of the Royal Society Professor Fred Hoyle would confirm my judgement: “How has the Darwinian theory of evolution by natural selection managed, for upwards of a century, to fasten itself like a superstition on so-called enlightened opinion? Why is the story still defended so vigorously?” [21] First event (a): J Z Young was comparing the brain of a new-born human baby with that of an adult chimpanzee [20]. His words “I do not know …” stunned me and Shirley Knight sitting together. (b) One student’s question “Why …?” brought the answer: “’Why?’ questions are not permitted here” (c) J Z Young kept saying “Theory of Evolution” over and over again. This world-authority on the human brain [22] who taught me not only “what to think” to pass exams, but also “how to think” to enable me criticise my teachers, led me to the conclusion I found Professor Fred Hoyle arriving at 3 decades later, namely that Darwin’s Evolution Emperor has no clothes! But then comes Paul Ehrlich [18] sprinkling his 531-page Evolution book with “Why?” questions that he blithely proceeds to answer with ex cathedra pronouncements!


This Welsh Genius [24] proved some “Truths” to be supra-scientific. [23]. I once wrote: “There is a vast area of man’s experience called the spiritual realm which neither Freudian psychoanalysis nor the scientific method can fathom” [25] Dr Lloyd-Jones’ books “Spiritual Depression” [26] and “Conversions Psychological and Spiritual” [27] support this. Because “approaches to scientific truth and spiritual truth are different” [25] one scientist will read Spiritual Depression “with much profit while another, with the same qualifications, will find it unintelligible” [25]. Dr Lloyd-Jones totally dismisses Darwin’s “races”. He recognises only intra-racial marriages: Google “Felix and Rosemary” [28].


Misinformation that Margaret McCartney mentions [1] can be counterbalanced using the same Internet when editors refuse to publish corrections [29]. Are Margaret’s two prescriptive suggestions [1] capable of identifying scientific liars [30-32] and lying journalists who suppress truth about Statins or whatever? [29]


“Did that happen?” is my best question to unravel truth. Was I born on a Saturday? Was I struck by lightning on a Friday 2 days before Christmas? Science can never be used to substantiate the truth behind these events [3 33-36], so why do we defer to Science to verify infinitely more important events defining Christmas? History beats Science [37]. Dismiss me as a creationist sermonizing, and I respond: a creationist is ‘a c’; I prefer to reverse the letters and be known as ‘C a’ – “CREATOR acknowledger” whose MILLENNIUM Hymn spells out supra-scientific Truth [38] about The PERSON who said “Before Abraham was I AM” [39].
Conflict of Interest: Believer in The Lord Jesus Christ [Nuntsɔ Yesu Kristo]
Felix I D Konotey-Ahulu FGA MD(Lond) FRCP(Lond) FRCP(Glasg) DTMH(L’pool) FGCP FWACP FTWAS Kwegyir Aggrey Distinguished Professor of Human Genetics University of Cape Coast Ghana & Former Consultant Physician Genetic Counsellor in Sickle Cell and Other Haemoglobinopathies, 9 Harley Street, London W1G 9AL. Twitter@profkonoteyahul

1 McCartney Margaret. Evidence in a post-truth world. BMJ 2016; 355: 16363 November 28, 2016
2 Dyer Clare. Journal agrees to retract paper after university found study was never done. BMJ 2013; 347: f55
3 Konotey-Ahulu FID “Private Thoughts: There is no evidence that I was born on a Saturday. Postgraduate Medical Journal of Ghana 2012; 1: 32-33 33” which often proved superiority of history over science in arriving at truth.
4 Einstein Albert “Science can be created only by those who are thoroughly imbued with the aspiration toward truth and understanding” In EINSTEIN: Life and Universe, by Walter Isaacson, New York 2007, Simon & Schuster, page 390 of 675 pages.
5 Konotey-Ahulu FID. Sickle cell and altitude. BMJ 1972; 2: 231-232.
6 Zuckerman Solly. Pride and Prejudice in Science. Aerospace Medicine 1974. 45: 638-647. (Also republished in Ghana Medical Journal 1975; 14: 52-60)
7 Konotey-Ahulu FID. Clinicians facing conflicting recommendations: Use Common sense? BMJ Rapid response Dec 5 2008
8 Sarfati Jonathan. By Design – Evidence for Nature’s Intelligent Designer – The God of the Bible. Creation Book Publishers 2008 Atlanta Georgia, USA [260 pages]
9 Wise Jacqui. Consortium hopes to sequence genome of 1000 volunteers. BMJ 2008; 336: 237 (2 February)
10 Announcement: International Consortium Announces the 1000 Genomes Project. Major Sequencing Effort Will Produce Most Detailed Map of Human Genetic Variation to Support Disease Studies. (Tuesday January 22 2008)
11 Konotey-Ahulu FID. 24 Konotey-Ahulu FID. Sequencing genome of 1000 volunteers: Why do this anonymously? African Journal of Health Sciences 2011; 18: 37-52
12 Watson James in Sunday Times: Racial differences in intelligence: James Watson, Nobel Prize winning geneticist persecuted for scientific truth. He claimed that black people were less intelligent than white people and the idea that “equal powers of reason” were shared across racial groups was a delusion. Human-Stupidity (Admin) March 14 2010.
13 Darwin Charles R. Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or The Preservation of the Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. John Murray, London 1859.
14 Verkalk Robert. Revealed: Scientist who sparked racism row has black genes/The Independent > News> Science 9 December 2007
15 Konotey-Ahulu FID. There is but one human race. New African (London) December 2009, Number 490, page 4.
16 Konotey-Ahulu FID. The Human Genome Diversity Project: Cogitations of an African Native. In POLITICS AND THE LIFE SCIENCES, September 1999, Vol. 18(2), pp 317-322.
17 Konotey-Ahulu FID. Why should Africans fear any human genome project? Africawatch. November 2010, pages 34-36.
18 Ehrlich Paul R. Human Natures – Genes, Cultures, and the Human Prospect. Island Press/Shearwater Books, Washington DC 2000, page 308.
19 Holy Bible. (a) Psalm 30 verses 8 & 9: Let all the earth fear JEHOWAH. Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of HIM. For HE spoke and it was done. He commanded, and it stood fast & (b) Hebrews chapter 1 verses 1 &2: God …has in these last days spoken to us by His SON, Whom HE has appointed heir of all things, through Whom also HE made the worlds & (c) Colossians chapter 1 verses 16 & 17 For by Christ all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible …all things were created through HIM and for HIM & (d) St John chapter 1 verses 1 to 3: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.
20 The God Delusion title devalues sensible discourse BMJ Rapid Response Oct 19 2016
21.. Hoyle Fred. The Intelligent Universe. Michael Joseph, London, 1985, page 25
22 Young JZ. Philosophy and the brain. New Yok, NY, US Oxford University Press 1987, viii 233 pp.
23 Lloyd-Jones DM. Truth Unchanged Unchanging. Crossway Books March 31 1993. ISBN-10 0-89107-706-5 Foreword>fore>Alistair Begg ..
24 Murray Iain (2013). Life of Martyn Lloyd-Jones 1899-1980 Banner of Truth Trust Edinburgh. [This doctor qualified from St Bartholomew’s Hospital London University with First Class Honours and Distinction in Medicine & Therapeutics. Proceeded Doctorate in Medicine with his MD Thesis on Subacute Bacterial Endocarditis. Assisted Lord Horder, Physician to King George V, then suddenly announced retirement from Clinical Medicine and became a preacher. Those not allergic to Christian Worship may wish to listen to Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones MD MRCP. Listen to one of his messages at Westminster Chapel on 24th November 1963, Sunday after assassination of President Kennedy: Go to and click on JFK. I was there that never to be forgotten Sunday evening. Christians will cherish Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones’ 15-minute-long extempore prayer after the second hymn, plus his never to be forgotten long sermon after the 3rd hymn “In the cross of Christ I glory”. When he stepped down from the pulpit drenched in sweat, having expounded Galatians 6 verse 14, and after the last hymn “Abide with me” and Benediction, we just sat there, stunned!] Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones preached more than 1600 sermons. Jonathan Catherwood has all the details –
25 Konotey-Ahulu FID. The spiritual and the psychological in Clinical Medicine. (Personal View) BMJ 1977; 1: 1595 doi:10.1136/6076/1595 June 15.
26 Lloyd-Jones DM. Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Cure. (ISBN 9780802813879) Amazon’s Book Store>Spiritual-De [One of top 100 Millennium books]
27 Lloyd-Jones DM. Conversions Psychological & Spiritual>Co 9780851100098 December 1 1959. Critique of Dr William Sargant’s Battle for the Mind
28 Konotey-Ahulu Felix & Rosemary – 50 – YouTube 50th Wedding Anniversary [Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones marries them Easter Monday April 23 1962]
29 Konotey-Ahulu FID. Sickle Cell Trait: As with Statins When leading editors disagree please give principles same weight as details – September 2016
30 Laine C. Scientific misconduct hurts. Ann Intern Med 2016. doi:10.7326/M16-2550. pmid:27951591.
31 Dyer O. Peer reviewer stole article and published it as his own. BMJ 2016; 355:i6768. doi:10.1136/bmj.i6768. 3
32 Huang Wel. Peer reviewer stole article and published it as its own BMJ 2016; 355:i6768 doi:10.1136/bmj.i6768 :
33 Konotey-Ahulu FID. Born on a Saturday? Science vs History On The Origin and End of the World. Creation 38(4):2016
34 Konotey-Ahulu FID. Case of lightning burns. BMJ 1963; 1: 1547. June 8. doi:10.1136/bmj. 1.5344.1547
35 Konotey-Ahulu FID. Superstition and phenomena in Africa Personal View. BMJ 1969; 2:48 doi:10.1136/bmj.2.5648.48 April 15
36 Konotey-Ahulu FID. The supra-scientific in clinical medicine: a challenge to Professor Know-All. doi:10.1136/bmj.323.7327.1452 Brit Med J 2001; 323(7327): 1452-1453 (22-29 Dec)
37 Konotey-Ahulu FID. History versus Limits of Science: Is Solomonic Genius a Y Chromosome Phenomenon? J Genet Disorders Genetic Reports 2014; 3: 2 [Quoted Konotey-Ahulu FID (2012) “Private Thoughts: There is no evidence that I was born on a Saturday. Postgraduate Medical Journal of Ghana 1: 32-33 33” which often proved superiority of history over science in arriving at truth].
38 Konotey-Ahulu FID. MILLENNIUM Hymn – TIME WAS CREATED. 2000 .(Seven verses with Music)
39 Holy Bible: St John chapter 8 verse 58 – JESUS said to them “Most assuredly, I say to you: before Abraham was, I AM”.

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Sickle Cell Trait: As with Statins, When Leading Editors Disagree Please Give Principles Same Weight As Details

Sickle Cell Trait: As with Statins, When Leading Editors Disagree Please Give Principles Same Weight As Details

Dr Fiona Godlee’s Editorial [1] is the basis of a Front Page Headline in the Daily Telegraph “‘End statins controversy’ with government review” [2]. Its Science Editor states “The Lancet argued that thousands of people had been misled into stopping their medication after two articles appeared in the BMJ questioning their use and warning of side effects”. [September 16]. Our editorial giants (BMJ & Lancet) clearly disagree on matters of detail relating to Statins so I am not going to wade into the “who found what?” questions when principles that have not been explored stare us in the face.

Dr Fiona Godlee was right to highlight the principle about the need to continue asking questions in a scientific debate when she said “who should decide when such questions are too dangerous to ask? Certainly not those who have a vested interest in the debate being shut down.” [1] Which leads me to something else that worries me, namely the general reluctance to call a spade a spade in scientific debate. In his otherwise impressive invited Editorial Professor Harlan M Krumholz of Yale School of Medicine makes the following statement: “Some people fear that data sharing could produce poor science that spreads misinformation. But science should be self-correcting when there is open access to the data” [3]. Now, come on, why do we give the impression that something called “poor science” is responsible for spreading misinformation? And when did “science” become “self-correcting”? Are we afraid to say it is scientists, not science, who need blaming for defects? And scientists, not science that have to do the “self-correcting”? Have we forgotten the BMJ article entitled “Journal agrees to retract paper after university found study was never done”? [4]. Was it Mr Poor Science that caused the problem or a human being? Probity involves human beings, not something called “Science”, which leads me to another principle.

To Lisa Blakemore the “debate on childhood vaccine adverse reactions” that some people want to curtail requires the same principle of “Fiona’s current thinking” [5]. But I go further. Just as Lisa Blakemore felt very strongly about childhood vaccines so do I about Sickle Cell Trait misinformation in a reputable journal like The Lancet which refused to publish my protest letter that demanded retraction of a dangerously flawed paper [6] exactly as I presented it [7]. If Lancet is not happy about BMJ’s viewpoint on Statins and there have been calls “for retraction of two BMJ articles that disputed the use of statins in low risk people” [1] why was my call for a retraction of a Sickle Cell Trait article [6] that had no laboratory results but only the word of the patient as evidence of Sickle Cell Trait not heeded? Was it because I implied that the reviewer of the article knew little about sickle cell trait? [7]

I was previously involved in making both BMJ and Lancet withdraw published reports. The then BMJ Editor Dr Martin Ware withdrew a false report [References available]. I was also first to publish that a Lancet article “left a lot to be desired” [8] whereupon Editors Robin Fox, David Sharp, and Imogen Evans pursued the authors who later confessed to “Erroneous data” [9] and the paper was withdrawn. As Former Editor of the Ghana Medical Journal I am now inclined to think from recent developments (Statins imbroglio not excluded) that any expert in future asked to referee a scientific paper must henceforth declare “Conflict of Interest” in the same way as authors are asked to do. I cannot advise Dame Sally Davies how to approach Dr Fiona Godlee’s request but one novel principle that could not be out of place would be to request a “Lack of Conflict of Interest Declaration” from referees of scientific papers especially from those that recommended for publication “Statins are OK”.

The leading author of the BMJ article on Sickle Cell Trait causing intestinal infarction in a lady after just 45 minutes’ flight from Kumasi to Accra leading to their recommendation that “all negro travellers need testing for sickle cells before flight” happened to be an employer of an international airline. BMJ pursued him to produce records on the patient with haemoglobin electrophoresis results confirming sickle cell trait. There was nothing. So BMJ’s Dr Martin Ware had the Case History withdrawn. And now Lancet publishes “acute rhabdomyolysis in a Sickle Cell Trait patient” after flying [6]. “Who passed this article for publication?” was my first of 4 questions sent to the Lancet [7]. Like the case that BMJ withdrew, the paper had no record of Haemoglobin electrophoresis. Nor was there G6PD quantification, no full blood count, nothing. Not even a sickle cell test result.

Our next move is quite clear. Northern Nigeria has 30 million sickle cell traits of whom quite a few are millionaires with private planes. If flying can make their muscles rot as the article in Lancet suggests [6] then they ought to know urgently. They will pay for an investigator to go to the national medical association of the doctor whose paper was published in Lancet and demand to see the patient’s records. We shall then
present the findings to the UK’s Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) because this is a very serious matter. One in every three of the 90 million people in Northern Nigeria is Sickle Cell Trait, and Insurance Companies will be gloating as they quote Lancet in support of their high fees for Sickle Cell Traits. There is, sadly, no longer our friend Cambridge University’s Professor Hermann Lehmann, FRS to write as he did to The London Times whose Science Correspondent used the BMJ’s non-existent Case History to suggest grounding “All Black Air Crew”. Lehmann simply said “Look here. Black Sickle Trait athletes ran at the Olympic Games at Mexico City 7000 ft high and beat the entire world with Gold Medals” so why use a discredited Sickle Cell Trait Case Report in the BMJ to say all Black Air Crew should be grounded forthwith? [10] There are great financial implications in calling Sickle Cell Trait Sickle Cell Disease, that was why I was given 4 body-guards in Philadelphia for pointing out in my Keynote Address (“The Vital Difference Between Sickle Cell Trait and Sickle Cell Disease”) that Insurance Companies in New York were defrauding Sickle Cell Traits [11]. Indeed, just as I predicted [7], the flawed Sickle Cell Trait Rhabdomyolysis article [6] is being used frenetically on Facebook in such terms as “Sickle Cell Trait mixed with Rhabdomyolysis could equal sudden death during exercise” [12].

The Statins Debate may well involve reputable scientists who are economical with the truth, and we should not equate them with “poor science” that will “correct itself”.

Dr F I D Konotey-Ahulu MD(Lond FRCP(Lond) DTMH(L’pool) Former Editor of the Ghana Medical Journal. Kwegyir Aggrey Distinguished Professor of Human Genetics
University of Cape Coast, Ghana and Lately Consultant Physician Genetic Counsellor in Sickle Cell and Other Haemoglobinopathies, 9 Harley Street, London W1G 9AL.

  1. Godlee Fiona. Statins: We need an independent review. BMJ 2016; 354: i4992
  2. Knapton Sarah. “End statins controversy with government review. Daily Telegraph. Friday 16 September 2016, page 1.
  3. Krumholz Harlan M. Statins evidence: when answers also raise questions. Sharing the data is more likely to settle the debate than another review. BMJ 2016; 354: i1463 (doi:10.1136/bmj.i4963)
  4. Dyer Clare. Journal agrees to retract paper after university found study was never done. BMJ 2013; 347: 155 Sept 5 2013.
  5. Blakemore Sarah. Statins: We need an independent review. BMJ Rapid response
  6. Rhida A, Khan A, Al-Abayechi S, Puthenveetil V. Acute compartment syndrome secondary to rhabdomyolysis in a sickle cell trait patient. Lancet 2014; 384:2172
  7. Konotey-Ahulu FID. Dangerously flawed diagnosis of sickle cell trait in compartment syndrome rhabdomyolysis
  8. Konotey-Ahulu FID. Group specific component and HIV infection. Lancet 1987; i: 1267.
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  12. Whiskey Delta Charlie [Facebook September 5 at 5:35 pm] Sickle Cell Trait mixed with Rhabdomyolysis could equal sudden death during exercise or if low oxygen levels are present. Secondary complications can be present as well #sicklecelltrait #exercise #rhabdomyolysis #trackandfield #marathontraining #2milerun #crossfit #physicaltraining #preseason #military my story in the bio# sicklecellawarenessmonth #itsnotblackgene #global #bloodline #fighgtsmalaria #hispanic #mediterranean #europe #asian bloodtests
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