Extremely high birth prevalence of sickle cell disease in rural Tanzania.

Abstract

Sickle cell disease (SCD) is an important, hidden cause of childhood mortality worldwide. It is most prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa where national newborn screening programs remain unavailable and most children in rural areas are never diagnosed. We conducted a study at a rural district hospital in northern Tanzania to determine the birth prevalence and community awareness of SCD and to determine the feasibility of using point-of-care testing to enroll newborns in a new SCD clinic for ongoing treatment.