About 1,000 children are born with Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) in Africa every day. It is an excruciating, deadly disease. More than half of the thousands African children born with SCD annually will die before they are five years old.
SCD is an inherited abnormality of hemoglobin - the protein that carries oxygen to cells. Instead of remaining as isolated units, SCD hemoglobin sticks together with other units. When this happens, the clumps of protein change the shape of the red blood cell from a doughnut shape, which flows smoothly, to a sickle (C-like) shape, which does not. These sickled cells can attach to the lining of blood vessels, blocking blood flow to limbs and organs, resulting in multiple consequences including: acute pain; chronic pain; infections; hand-foot syndrome; splenic crisis; acute chest syndrome; stroke; eye complications; priapism; delayed growth and puberty; leg ulcers; gallstones; and multiple organ failure.
There is a vast store of knowledge and research funds available in high-income countries for the study and treatment of SCD. In developing countries, there is a shortage of funding and a high number of patients, especially in Africa where the disease is endemic.
With the leadership of the GSCDN Medical Director, Dr. Isaac Odame, the leading SCD researchers and clinicians from high-, middle-, and low-income countries have been brought together to form the Global Sickle Cell Disease Network (GSCDN).
The GSCDN is working to:
The GSCDN is a wonderful example of researchers and clinicians from around the world working together to bring about real change that will not only have a positive impact on children born with SCD, but on whole communities and regions.
The Programme for Global Paediatric Research (PGPR) is an educator and a network facilitator; bringing together some of the brightest, most innovative minds from around the world to share information, teach others and to collaborate in order to improve health outcomes for children in developing countries.
PGPR provides networks, like the GSCDN, with the tools they need to share information; establish research needs; collaborate; determine evidence-based action; and implement change.
Learn more about PGPR
We have created an online community for GSCDN members that allows colleagues to use online tools to accelerate their collaboration. This online community is a password protected space that offers such features as:
If you are interested in becoming a member of the GSCDN online community follow the below link and apply for a free membership.