Sickle cell disease: new opportunities and challenges in Africa

ScientificWorldJournal. 2013;2013:193252. doi: 10.1155/2013/193252. Epub 2013 Sep 19.


Sickle cell disease (SCD) is one of the most common genetic causes of illness and death in the world. This is a review of SCD in Africa, which bears the highest burden of disease. The first section provides an introduction to the molecular basis of SCD and the pathophysiological mechanism of selected clinical events. The second section discusses the epidemiology of the disease (prevalence, morbidity, and mortality), at global level and within Africa. The third section discusses the laboratory diagnosis and management of SCD, emphasizing strategies that been have proven to be effective in areas with limited resources. Throughout the review, specific activities that require evidence to guide healthcare in Africa, as well as strategic areas for further research, will be highlighted.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Africa / epidemiology
  • Anemia, Sickle Cell / complications
  • Anemia, Sickle Cell / diagnosis
  • Anemia, Sickle Cell / epidemiology*
  • Anemia, Sickle Cell / therapy
  • Blood Transfusion
  • Humans
  • Hydroxyurea / therapeutic use
  • Morbidity
  • Mortality
  • National Health Programs
  • Nitric Oxide / therapeutic use
  • Pain
  • Prevalence
  • Stem Cell Transplantation


  • Nitric Oxide
  • Hydroxyurea