Genetics, Diagnosis, Treatment: NIH Takes on Sickle Cell Disease Globally

Two clinicians with SCD child and his mom on their clinic day at Temeke Regional Referral Hospital, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania Photo Credit: SickleInAfrica

(NewsUSA) - Each year, some 150,000 children in Nigeria are born with sickle cell disease, the most common - and often life-threatening - inherited blood disorder in the world.

"I was not happy when I read that Nigeria will have the highest contribution to the global burden of sickle cell disease by 2050 - if we continue at the present birth rate and the level of inactivity in newborn screening," says hematologist Obiageli Nnodu, M.D., the lead researcher in Nigeria for the Sickle Pan African Research Consortium (SPARCo), funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health. "As a country, we can do better than that. After all, this is a disease where children die undiagnosed, and largely from preventable causes such as bacterial infections."