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Global burden of sickle cell disease (SCD): Approaches to mitigate SCD health care disparities through collaborative research in sub-saharan Africa


Lecture Title: The Global Burden of Sickle Cell Disease(SCD): Approaches to mitigate SCD health care disparities through collaborative research in sub-saharan Africa

Just over 100 years ago, sickle cell disease(SCD) was discovered in a patient in Chicago, IL. However, It was described for hundreds of years before in Subsaharan Africa; It is estimated that ~ 80% of all the annual SCD Births occur in sub-Saharan Africa ( ~ 242,000) compared to only 2600 SCD births in North America and 1300 SCD births In Europe. This supports the presumed hypothesis that the sickle cell gene frequency overlaps with the malarial belts of the world. Global Mortality from SCD remains the highest in sub-Saharan Africa, especially in under-resourced and economically challenged countries within this region.

The clinical presentation within all forms of sickle cell disease( i.e. Hgb SS, Hgb SC, Sickle Cell-Beta Thalassemia +,Sickle Cell Beta Thalassmia Zero Disease) varies significantly globally which leads to a poorer understanding of the disease phenotype . To address this gap in knowledge of SCD, we have to improve funding and expand research collaborations in SSA and other regions of the world where the incidence of the SCD is highest. Outstanding researchers within SSA are making new discoveries within SCD pathophysiology and improving our understanding of SCD not only in Africa but across the world. I hope to show you that some of my research collaborations in SSA has my enhanced knowledge in SCD globally and locally.

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