The European Institute for Cooperation and Development (EICD), which has been implementing in Cameroon since 2015 a program to improve the social and health care of sickle-cell anemia with the support of the French Development Agency, informs that to date, more than 16,000 newborns have been screened with a prevalence rate of about 1%. This would represent in absolute terms more than 6000 sickle cell neonates per year.
According to the IECD, a neonatal diagnosis, early treatment and patient follow-up have resulted in more than 40% reduction in the mortality rate of children in two years, thus improving their life expectancy and their conditions of existence.
The European Institute explains that this has been achieved through, inter alia, public awareness of sickle-cell anemia. In particular, on its mode of transmission which is a key axis that the Iecd implements in partnership with the platform of patient associations “Convergence Sickle-cell anemia“.
The Iecd program allows for the first time in Cameroon the neonatal screening of the disease in collaboration with the Pasteur Center and the Cameroon Sickle Cell Disease Study Group (Gedrepacam).
As a reminder, sickle-cell anemia is the world’s first genetic disease and affects more than 50 million people. It is transmitted by the father and mother both carriers of hemoglobin AS and results in extremely painful crises, anemia and an increased risk of infections. In the absence of screening, 3 out of 4 sick children will not reach the age of 5 years.