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scientific articles

Sickle Cell Disease: Reducing the Global Disease Burden

key information

source: International Journal of Laboratory Hematology

year: 2019

authors: Mburu J, Odame I


Sickle cell disease has been largely an invisible global health issue, especially in regions of high incidence mainly due to lack of awareness among both the local health policy makers and the public. Public health interventions, such as screening of newborns, provision of prophylaxis against bacterial infections, and immunizations against pneumococcal infections can have the greatest impact. Family education on assessment of spleen size and subsequent detection of splenic sequestration and promptness to seek medical attention for a febrile child is also important in the control of the morbidity and mortality of children with SCD living in resource-poor countries. In addition to these affordable interventions, hydroxyurea therapy is necessary to decrease both the acute and chronic complications of sickle cell anemia.

Sickle cell disease has been recognized to have global health significance by key institutions including the World Health Organization in 2006 and the United Nation is 2008. In 2010, the WHO released national health care management goals and set targets to be achieved by the countries in sub-Saharan Africa for the control and management of SCD. These are yet to be translated into action. To do, this would require active and sustainable public-private partnerships for sustainable program development in these regions. Effective interventions should be integrated into existing health systems, the best examples linking primary healthcare facilities to specialized sickle cell disease centers in regional and tertiary healthcare institutions.

organization: The Hospital for Sick Children, Canada; University of Toronto, Canada

DOI: 10.1111/ijlh.13023

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