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


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.