Newborn Screening for Sickle Cell Disease in the Caribbean: An Update of the Present Situation and of the Disease Prevalence

Abstract : The region surrounding the Caribbean Sea is predominantly composed of island nations for its Eastern part and from the American continental coast on its Western part. A large proportion of the population, particularly in the Caribbean islands, traces its ancestry to Africa as a consequence of the Atlantic slave trade during the XVI-XVIII centuries. As a result, sickle cell disease has been largely introduced in the region. Some Caribbean countries and/or territories such as Jamaica and the French territories initiated newborn screening (NBS) programs for sickle cell disease more than 20 years ago. They have demonstrated the major beneficial impact on mortality and morbidity resulting from early childhood care. However, similar programs have not been implemented in much of the region. This paper presents an update of the existing NBS programs and the prevalence of sickle cell disease in the Caribbean. It demonstrates the impact of the Caribbean Network of Researchers on Sickle Cell Disease and Thalassemia (CAREST) on the extension of these programs. The presented data illustrate the importance of advocacy in convincing policy makers of the feasibility and benefit of NBS for sickle cell disease when coupled to early care.
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Jennifer Knight-Madden, Ketty Lee, Gisèle Elana, Narcisse Elenga, Beatriz Marcheco-Teruel, et al.. Newborn Screening for Sickle Cell Disease in the Caribbean: An Update of the Present Situation and of the Disease Prevalence. International Journal of Neonatal Screening, 2019, 5 (1), pp.5. ⟨10.3390/ijns5010005⟩. ⟨hal-02342564⟩

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