In remembrance of Prof Kwaku Ohene-Frempong

In remembrance of Prof Kwaku Ohene-Frempong

With profound sadness, we learned of the passing of a giant in the Sickle Cell Disease field, on Saturday 7th May 2022 in the USA: Prof Kwaku Ohene-Frempong, affectionally known as “KOF”, following a short, and dignified fight against an aggressive cancer. KOF was a Co-Chair for the SickleInAfrica consortium. Below are some.messages shared by members or affiliates of the consortium. Dear colleagues, friends, and the Sickle Cell Disease community, With profound sadness, we learned of the passing of a giant in the Sickle Cell Disease field, on Saturday 7th May 2022 in the USA: Prof Kwaku Ohene-Frempong, affectionally known as “KOF”, following a short, and dignified fight against an aggressive cancer. KOF has been a global leader in the field of Sickle Cell Disease, long before many of us can remember, he has trained generations of physicians all over the World and published landmark research that still informs, today, the care of people living with Sickle Cell Disease Worldwide. He initiated the first newborn screening for Sickle Cell Disease in Africa, in his native Ghana. In the past two decades, his focus on improving the prevention and care of SCD in Africa grew tremendously, through his active participation in numerous research and clinical care projects, and philanthropic initiatives. At the time of his passing, he was the co-chair of the Steering Committee of the SickleInAfrica Consortium. His guidance, knowledge, passion, dedication, commitment, and engagement for the cause of all people living with Sickle Cell Disease will be sorely missed. May his generous soul rests in peace.

Ambroise Wonkam, MD, PhD
PI Sickle Africa Data Coordinating Center

I am devastated. KoF was the champion of Sickle Cell Disease in Africa. I hope to find the time to reflect on the impact that KoF had, and his contribution to where we are today; as individuals and as a community working on sickle cell disease in Africa. I hope to find the words to express the emotions as I am accepting his death.

For now, my thoughts and prayers are with his family.

Rest in Peace KoF.

Julie Makani
Sat, 14 May 2022

This poem makes me think of KoF and his commitment to Sickle Cell Disease in Africa.

"Then out spake brave Horatius,
The Captain of the Gate:
To every man upon this earth
Death cometh soon or late.
And how can man die better
Than facing fearful odds,
For the ashes of his fathers,
And the temples of his gods"

Thomas Babington Macaulay, Lays of Ancient Rome

Members of the Sickle Cell Support Society of Nigeria (SCSSN) received the news of the passing of our beloved brother and senior colleague, Professor Kwaku Ohene-Frempong, the President of Sickle Cell Foundation of Ghana, with profound shock and sadness.

KOF, as he was fondly called, had been a friend of the Society since its inception. He always responded promptly to our invitations and was a headliner at our conferences in Abuja in 2015 and Enugu in 2017. Among other things, he encouraged the development of newborn screening using the iso-electric focusing platform.

KOF had a rich knowledge and was a leader in the studies and programs of sickle cell disease (SCD) in the past four decades. He freely shared his wisdom and insights with members of our Society on the different platforms in which we interacted with him -SickleInAfrica Consortium, Consortium for Newborn Screening for Africa (CONSA), Sickle Pan African Network (SPAN) and Sickle West African Network (SWAN), which was launched in Abuja in 2015.

We thank the family for sharing KOF with the SCD community and pray for God’s comfort and strength for them to bear the irreparable loss. May his soul rest in peace.

Professor Obiageli Nnodu, Chair, SCSSN
Abuja, Nigeria
May 15, 2022


Very sad news to receive. Kof was very inspirational to us all. We shall miss him. Rest in Peace. Kof
Dr Deogratius Munube
This is very sad news. We part for Prof’s family and all the people he worked with. We shall miss his contribution and guidance.
Prof Sarah Kiguli
On behalf of SPARCO-Tanzania, may I send our sincere condolences to KOF's family, Ghana, SickleInAfrica and entire SCD and the global scientific community for this profound loss. KOF was a silent leader to all of us, and dedicated his life to improvement of care and wellbeing for patients with SCD wherever they are. We feel indebted to follow on his footsteps in his honour. We pray for our Almighty Lord to rest his soul in eternal peace, Amen.
Dr. Emmanuel Balandya
This is very sad news. KOF was indeed a gentle giant. He was so caring of the patients and their families, so inspirational for those of us who follow him and so exceptional yet humble as a man. His contribution to SCD globally is enormous and will live on after him.
My sincere condolences to his family, close friends and the entire world of SCD for he made each of us his friend and colleague. My colleagues in CAREST add their thoughts, prayers and condolences.
Prof Jennifer Knight-Madden
This is very sad news. Kof was an inspiring professor and human being, a great leader in science, especially in SCD.
My condolences to his family and community. I hope he rests in peace.
Dr Miriam Park
We have lost a world-renowned leader in the field. Prof KOF was a co-chair for the steering committee and executive committee of the NIH-supported SCD in SSA Network program. He chaired our meetings as recently as a couple of weeks ago! Prof KOF made essential contributions to the previous phase of the program between 2017 and 2021 and to the current phase that started in 2021. I only met him in person once at a program meeting in 2019 but have attended many virtual meetings of the program together especially since he became a co-chair for the program. I could tell that he was well respected by colleagues both within the program and beyond. The program has benefited tremendously from his enthusiasm, leadership and expertise. I am truly grateful to Prof KOF for his willingness to serve as a co-chair and for his help with steering the transition phase of the program through his knowledge, experience and skills. He will be missed! May Prof KOF rest in peace.
Personal Tribute from Dr Shimian Zou
Too too bad Prof. is gone! may God rest him in Peace for his enormous contribution to the scientific world and mentorship to many of us.
Dr Musa Waiswa
I echo everyone’s sentiments so far and have to say thank you in particular for allowing me to be part of your program through which I got to meet KOF. I had heard him speak in the past and knew his reputation of course but was immediately impressed by his disposition and welcoming nature. May he rest in peace.
Dr Vimal Kumar Derebail
KOF was a great mentor for all of us. Still lost because I can't believe it that he is gone and so hard to accept it. But his works still live on and what he established in Kumasi speak for him. Da yie KOF.
Dr Vivian Paintsil
KOF is a giant who has left behind a great legacy for many generations to come. He was also a giant who allowed us to stand on his shoulders through the vast knowledge, expertise and skills that he was ready to share with us. At such times, it is difficult even to find the right words to say. RIP KOF. You will be greatly missed. We will always celebrate your life.
Dr Siana Nkya
We have learned with sadness of the passing away of .Prof. Kwaku Ohene-Frempong. We are paying tribute to the memory of this great servant of science which made his mark on the fight against Sickle Cell Disease. We would like to take this opportunity to convey our deepest sympathy to his family and to the entire scientific community involved in the fight against Sickle Cell Disease.
Prof. Philomène LOPEZ-SALL
Indeed, KOF was a giant figure in SCD and the leader in newborn screening. I echo all the accolades and sentiments of my colleagues on this email and can say that he was a great person to work with. His presence will be missed, but I am happy that he was able to see that his significant work and accomplishments had led to a remarkable impact in the field of SCD research and improved patient care. Rest well KOF knowing that others are carrying on your impactful work! Prof Emmanuel K. Peprah
It is with immense sadness that this news is received. My heartfelt condolences to his family, to Ghana and the Global SCD community for this very painful loss.
Dr Catherine Chunda
Well said, Funmi… A mighty tree indeed…Oh, how we will miss KOF and the energy, wisdom, compassion, dedication, and humor that he brought to everything he did. A life well lived! Thank you KOF!
Prof Charmaine DM Royal
The beautiful words that everyone has shared about kof are very much appreciated at this time when words seem so inadequate to capture the depth of the loss of this great man. He contributed beyond measure to the world as an academician, a clinician and as a driver of policy. But his contributions to all of us as a friend, colleague, mentor, uncle, brother... are far greater. He indeed led an exemplary life and this is a time for us to insure that we carry on his tremendous legacy.
Dr Marsha J. Treadwell, PhD
I agree with Marsha, I know you are one of the many people that work very closely with Kof.
I am proud to say that I had the privilege of working with him especially in the last 12 years and also through the CONSA programme as co-chairs of the treatment subcommittee. He is (was) consumed by the desire to make sure that any effort towards screening for sickle cell disease must be preceded by developing a robust treatment capabilities saying the laboratory diagnosis is just a tiny part of the process. Our last CONSA meeting either March or April 2022 he attended even though he was very ill. He exemplified humility, dignity, tenacity in what he believed. Thanks Janet and Akua for sharing him with us and you have therefore acquired friends and family wider than you can imagine.
We prayed for alternative outcome when he told me about the diagnosis but we now submit to the one that knows better.
Prof Baba Inusa
I was honestly so stunned that I couldn’t figure out what to write – devastating news; a stalwart gone leaving a truly weighty legacy – I feel honoured to have met and interacted with him, and to have gotten to know his vitality, vim, and vigor… he even knew my name, which says so much….as we all knew his…
Dr Neil Hanchard
It was sad and shocking to hear of the passing on of KOF. What a great and humble giant in the world of sickle cell disease. What a pleasant and friendly personality. An encyclopedia Haemoglobinopathies. We shall sorely miss him. May God comfort his family and all the lives he touched in his life time.
Adieu Prof!

Professor Biobele
The news of KOF’s passing has been difficult to accept. Writing about him will fill pages. This is a monumental loss to the family and the Sickle Cell Community.
He has indeed paid his dues to the course of advancement of knowledge and care for people with sickle cell disease. His passion in the work for sickle cell wherever he found himself knew no bounds. He has been a great guide, teacher, and mentor to many (especially I and colleagues in Kumasi who worked closely with him for many years). His guidance, knowledge, passion, dedication, commitment, and advocacy for the cause of Sickle Cell Disease was amazing and will be missed. He was a strong advocate always pushing for resources to be made available for the management of sickle cell disease. He was hopeful that with all the advances in knowledge and the work going on around the world, there will be cure for SCD in future.
In our Centre even though we recognized him as the boss, and despite his stature as a world-acclaimed man, he engaged gently and cordially with all, big or small and most times he acted with a lot of humour. This character trait I saw of him in many fora that I was with him.
Indeed, we have lost a great person!!!
Kof, Da Yieh!!
Rest in Peace
Alex Osei-Akoto

Professor Alex Osei-Akoto
I am broken and lost for words!! My brother KOF, such an inspiration to us all as a Global Leader. He was an encyclopaedia of sickle cell disease, and brought so much knowledge, expertise, and wisdom to the Consortium and beyond. KOF's life-long ambition was to improve the quality of lives of people with sickle cell disease especially in his homeland Ghana and Africa, working tirelessly day and night. He always said there is more to be done. KOF touched our lives in so many different ways, and importantly he was an excellent paediatric haematologist for his patients. His achievements will be cherished and his memory will endure forever.
Dr Kofi A Anie MBE
We will remember you, KOF, for your Wisdom!

May the Lord rest your soul in eternal peace and comfort your family at this challenging moment.

Your Legacy will reign forever within the community you have served with all your love!

Prof Raphael Z. Sangeda
The MUHAS’s Sickle Cell Programme is deeply saddened by the loss of Prof Kwaku Ohene-Frempong (KOF).

Prof KOF played a role in research, health care, training as well as coaching and mentoring of senior and junior scientists. The Programme had the privilege to work with Prof KOF. We, therefore, got a chance to see what a great man he was.

We will miss him dearly and we would want to extend our thoughts, prayers, and condolence to his family.

The Programme will continue to celebrate his life from his contributions, memories, and legacy.

“Prof KOF will be in our hearts and memories.”
Malula Nkanyemka, On Behalf of The Management of the Sickle Cell Programme, MUHAS, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
To the family
On behalf of our entire SPARCo Clinical Coordinating Center Team, please accept our heartfelt condolences. We just wanted to let you know that our thoughts and prayers are with you and the family at this difficult moment. We are wishing you the courage and peace during these mourning times of our KOF.

KOF has been part of us as Chair of Standards of Care during Phase 1 of the SickleInAfrica Consortium. Before the departure, KOF was a Co-Chair of Phase 2 of the SickleInAfrica in Sub Saharan Africa (SSA). KOF worked closely with and benefited several SCD Communities in Ghana, Sub-Saharan Africa, and the globe. Without a doubt, we have lost the giant in deep knowledge and expertise in the efforts toward research and health care for Sickle Cell Disease (SCD).

May his Soul Rest in Eternal Peace.

To Sickle Cell Community:
Thinking of you, wishing you hope in the midst of sorrow and comfort in the midst of pain.

The loss of Prof KOF is felt by many. May the memories of his wonderful personality and many contributions be celebrated by all.

“Prof KOF will be in our hearts and memories.”
Malula Nkanyemka, On Behalf of The Management of the SPARCo CCC, MUHAS, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania