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Bull World Health Organ. 2001; 79(8): 704–712.
Published online Oct 24, 2001.
PMCID: PMC2566499

Inherited haemoglobin disorders: an increasing global health problem.

Abstract

Despite major advances in our understanding of the molecular pathology, pathophysiology, and control and management of the inherited disorders of haemoglobin, thousands of infants and children with these diseases are dying through lack of appropriate medical care. This problem will undoubtedly increase over the next 20 years because, as the result of a reduction in childhood mortality due to infection and malnutrition, more babies with haemoglobin disorders will survive to present for treatment. Although WHO and various voluntary agencies have tried to disseminate information about these diseases, they are rarely mentioned as being sufficiently important to be included in setting health care priorities for the future. It takes considerable time to establish expertise in developing programmes for the control and management of these conditions, and the lessons learned in developed countries will need to be transmitted to those countries in which they occur at a high frequency.

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