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ISSN: 2329-8790

Journal of Hematology & Thromboembolic Diseases
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Review Article

Sickle Cell Disease: Current Challenges

Dipty Jain1*, Ashish Lothe1 and Roshan Colah2
1Department of Pediatrics, Indira Gandhi Government Medical College and Mayo Hospital, Nagpur, India
2Director-in-Charge, National Institute of Immunohematology, KEM Hospital Campus, Mumbai, India
Corresponding Author : Dipty Jain
Professor and Head, Department of Pediatrics
Indira Gandhi Government Medical College, and Mayo Hospital
Central Avenue, Nagpur, 440018, India
Tel: +919373103579
E-mail: [email protected]
Received: June 22, 2015 Accepted: November 03, 2015, Published: November 10, 2015
Citation: Jain D, Lothe A, Colah R (2015) Sickle Cell Disease: Current Challenges . J Hematol Thrombo Dis 3:224. doi:10.4172/2329-8790.1000224
Copyright: © 2015 Jain D, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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Abstract

Sickle cell disease (SCD) is one of the most common monogenic diseases worldwide. Although there have been some advances in the management of SCD, much remains to be learned about the mechanisms underlying the wide phenotypic diversity of the disease. In resource poor countries, basic facilities for diagnosis and management are lacking, systematic screening is not common practice, and diagnosis is made late. Common and important morbidities associated with SCD are vaso-occlusive episodes, infections, acute chest syndrome, stroke and hip necrosis. These morbidities are often not managed effectively due to lack of proper infrastructure, expertise, and economical burden. Inadequate laboratory facilities and prenatal diagnostic services hamper proper management of disease complications as well as prevention. Newborn screening is yet to be implemented at national level in countries like India. Population screening programs are not universally undertaken, and some of the diagnostic strategies used have limitations. Advanced therapeutics like bone marrow transplantation are expensive, and gene therapy and stem cell therapy are still at an experimental stage. Emphasis should be placed on early counseling, newborn screening, anti-microbial prophylaxis, vaccination against infections and training of healthcare workers, patients and caregivers. Natural history of sickle cell disease in specific geographic areas like Africa and India is still unknown, where infections, malaria and malnutrition are key factors affecting the outcome. Further, in these countries, management guidelines used have been largely extrapolated from resourceful countries where most of the research has been done. There is need to develop tailor made guidelines for specific countries and areas. Global burden of SCD is rising, highlighting the need to develop specific prevention and management related national policies for appropriate public health planning. In resource poor countries where SCD is a major public health concern, basic facilities for management are usually not available, systematic screening is not common practice and diagnosis is usually made late, when patients present with severe complications. This article highlights the challenges faced at all levels including patients, relatives, health care personnel, international health organizations, and government health policy makers.

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