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Med Trop (Mars). 2003;63(4-5):513-20.

[Management of children with sickle cell disease in Africa: experience in a cohort of children at the Royal Albert Hospital in Dakar].

[Article in French]

Author information

  • 1Université Cheikh Anta Diop, Dakar, Sénégal.


Management of major sickle hemoglobinopathies in industrialized countries has improved significantly over the last few years thanks to strict application of the preventive and curative measures developed as a result of a better understanding of the underlying pathophysiological mechanisms. However patients in Africa have benefited little from progress in the field due to the lack of human and physical resources in sharp contrast with the high prevalence of the disease. The purpose of this study was to analyze problems involved in management of childhood sickle cell disease in Africa based on our experience in a cohort of 556 cases treated over a period of 12 years. The main problems were the same as those encountered in other black African nations, i.e., delayed diagnosis due to a lack of routine neonatal diagnostic screening, difficulty implementing anti-infectious prophylaxis due not only to the high cost of recommended vaccinations not covered by the Expanded Program on Immunization but also to poor compliance with antiobioprophylaxis, and insufficient transfusion facilities hindering application of long-term transfusion protocols when indicated. In addition the high prevalence of digestive-tract parasitosis and malaria raise the need to combine standard preventive measures with routine parasiticidal treatment and malarial prophylaxis adapted to each geographical area. The high frequency of associated iron deficiency requires systematic laboratory testing to identify and treat resulting manifestations during follow-up. An important prerequisite for widespread implementation of appropriate preventive and curative measures in Africa is recognition of sickle cell disease as a priority in public health care policy.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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