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In Africa, at least 240,000 children are born each year with sickle cell disease. Historically, in the absence of newborn screening and appropriate treatment, most such children died undiagnosed in early childhood. However, with increasing awareness of the condition and economic and epidemiologic transition, increasing numbers are surviving. Greater investments in basic and applied research in the African context, and increased sensitization or African ministries of health regarding the importance of this condition, could make a substantial difference to the lives and livelihoods of millions of people living with sickle cell disease on the continent and their families.

Original publication





Hematology/oncology clinics of North America

Publication Date





343 - 358


Department of Medicine, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, St Mary's Hospital, Praed Street, London W21N, UK; Department of Epidemiology and Demography, KEMRI/Wellcome Trust Research Programme, PO Box 230, Kilifi, Kenya. Electronic address:


Humans, Anemia, Sickle Cell, Cause of Death, Age Factors, Comorbidity, Mutation, Cost of Illness, Delivery of Health Care, Africa South of the Sahara, beta-Globins, Global Health