Distribution of Haemoglobin S and C in Ghana – The Role of Ethnic Barriers to Intermarriages


Using repeated cross-sectional data from the Ghana Ports and Harbours’ Authority (GPHA) hospital and cross-sectional household data from the Ghana Living Standards Survey 7, this paper exploits intermarriages between the northern part and southern part of Ghana as a potential underlying factor partly explaining the distribution of haemoglobin S (Hb S) and haemoglobin C (Hb C) in the country. Similar to other studies, we find evidence for a higher prevalence of Hb S and a lower prevalence of Hb C in the southern part of Ghana. We also find that the rate of intermarriage between northern ethnic groups and southern ethnic groups is just about 2.6 per cent, largely leading to the confinement of Hb S to the southern part of Ghana and Hb C to the northern part of Ghana

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