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World Sickle Cell Awareness Day

Sickle Cell Awareness Day, June 19: Tackling the Condition from the Start of Life

PerkinElmer is proud to support Sickle Cell Awareness Day: June 19, 2021

Sickle cell anemia, a beta-hemoglobinopathy characterized by red blood cells with a crescent or sickle shape, is the most common inherited genetic disease in the world. The abnormally shaped blood cells tend not to be flexible enough to efficiently move around the body to the smallest blood vessels. If left untreated sickle cell disease sufferers can experience a range of acute conditions and even premature death. 1

Testing for sickle cell disease (SCD) routinely happens in newborns in North America and Europe as part of comprehensive screening programs, however the same is not always the case in Africa. Each year, more than 300,000 babies in sub-Saharan Africa are born with sickle cell disease, but many do not live past the age of five due to lack of comprehensive care and early intervention programs. Additionally, sickle cell disease contributes to high productivity losses and can expose families to great financial risks.2

With newborn screening, patients with SCD can be identified and be given proper care. PerkinElmer is helping fight SCD through provision of newborn screening technology and collaborations with organizations such as The American Society of Hematology (ASH). Along with ASH, PerkinElmer is supporting the Consortium on Newborn Screening in Africa (CONSA) with equipment and expertise, in the hope to strengthen newborn screening infrastructure, and promoting data sharing. So far, screening programs have been initiated in Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania, and Zambia.

Through early identification, support, and education, more children born with sickle cell disease can have a healthier start in life with a bright future.

References:

  1. https://www.afro.who.int/health-topics/sickle-cell-disease
  2. Patient-Reported Outcomes and Economic Burden of Adults with Sickle Cell Disease in the United States: A Systematic Review. Lee et al. Int J Gen Med.2020; 13: 361–377.

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