by Julie Makani, Deogratias Soka, Stella Rwezaula et al.
Tropical Medicine & International Health, first published online: 17 November 2014
Haemoglobinopathies are amongst the most common childhood non-communicable diseases, with sickle cell disease (SCD) being the commonest haemoglobinopathy in Africa. In Tanzania, 10,313 children with SCD under 5 years of age (U5) are estimated to die every year, contributing an estimated 7% of overall deaths in U5 children. Key policies that governments in Africa are able to implement would reduce mortality in SCD, focusing on newborn screening and comprehensive SCD care programmes. Such programmes would ensure that interventions such as prevention of infections using penicillin plus prompt diagnosis and treatment of complications are provided to all individuals with SCD.