Abstract

As more children are appropriately being diagnosed, the burden of sickle cell disease is increasing greatly in Africa and in high-resource countries such as the United States and Europe. Early management is mandatory, but newborn screening is not implemented everywhere. Point-of-care testing devices are increasingly being used in low-resource countries, showing good sensitivity and specificity. Because the diagnosis is often traumatic for the families, the announcement should be made by an experienced person. The development of care networks is urgently required to facilitate daily life by defining the respective functions of nearby and highly specialized health care professionals, who should work in close collaboration. Comprehensive programs targeting the prevention of pneumococcal infections, malaria in infested zones, and stroke may substantially improve patient care. Hydroxyurea is increasingly being used, but whether it should be systematically prescribed in all children is debated, and its access is still limited in many African countries. Yearly checkups should be organized early in life in order to screen and then treat any organ impairment. Enhancing parents’ and patients’ knowledge and skills is mandatory.

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