A 25-year-old Ghanaian, Kamil Iddrisu, has died during training for officer selection into the British army.

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Citing a coroner’s report the BBC and the Daily Mail reported that Kamil died on November 17, 2019, from a sickle cell disease during an exercise at Whittington Barracks in Staffordshire.

He collapsed and suffered from severe kidney damage due to extreme exercise despite his condition which was undiagnosed at the time, reports suggest.

Besides Kamil, another soldier, whose name was given as Youngson Nkhoma, 31, from Malawi, also died under similar circumstances.

Birmingham and Solihull coroner Louise Hunt who had probed the incidents subsequently sent an official letter the UK government to caution against possible future deaths of similar nature involving non-citizens.

“Consideration should be given to all non-UK selection candidates being screened for sickle cell trait before embarking on any selection process,” portions of her later stated.

However, an army spokesperson responded: “It is with sadness that we can confirm the deaths of two potential recruits on separate assessment exercises at Whittington Barracks. “As an investigation is ongoing it would be inappropriate to comment further”.

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About sickle cell disease

Sickle cell disease is a group of disorders that cause red blood cells to become misshapen and break down.

With sickle cell disease, an inherited group of disorders, red blood cells contort into a sickle shape. The cells die early, leaving a shortage of healthy red blood cells (sickle cell anaemia) and can block blood flow causing pain (sickle cell crisis). Infections, pain and fatigue are symptoms of sickle cell disease.

Treatments include medication, blood transfusions and rarely a bone-marrow transplant. It is a major genetic disease that affects most countries in the African Region.