Sickle cell disease (SCD), an inherited disorder of hemoglobin is one of the most common genetic diseases worldwide. As a result of selection pressure from malaria infection, the disease occurs widely in sub-Saharan Africa, parts of Middle East and some areas of the Indian subcontinent. 

 

Migrations of populations from these sites of origin to North America, Brazil, Caribbean, Central America, Europe and Asia account for variable frequencies of SCD across the world. It is estimated that more than 300,000 babies homozygous for the sickle hemoglobin gene are born every year with more than 75% in Africa.

 

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SICKLE CELL DISEASE

Sickle cell disease (SCD), an inherited disorder of hemoglobin is one of the most common genetic diseases worldwide. As a result of selection pressure from malaria infection, the disease occurs widely in sub-Saharan Africa, parts of Middle East and some areas of the Indian subcontinent. 

 

Migrations of populations from these sites of origin to North America, Brazil, Caribbean, Central America, Europe and Asia account for variable frequencies of SCD across the world. It is estimated that more than 300,000 babies homozygous for the sickle hemoglobin gene are born every year with more than 75% in Africa.

 

In high-income countries with less than 10% of the global burden, over the past few decades, early mortality from SCD has been significantly reduced with 90% of children born with SCD surviving beyond 20 years of age.

 

In contrast, the World Health Organization (WGO) estimates that under-5 mortality in children born with SCD in low-income countries ranges from 50-80%. Evidence shows that where programs for newborn screening and early intervention for SCD have been piloted in sub-Saharan Africa, mortality rates have drastically diminished, equaling rates in high-income countries.