241312 Newborn Screening Initiatives for Sickle Cell Disease in Africa

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Jelili Ojodu, MPH , Newborn Screening and Genetics, Association of Public Health Laboratories, Silver Spring, MD
There is recognition of the importance of newborn screening (NBS) as a public health program in the US and worldwide. Each year thousands of newborns with severe genetic and congenital conditions are identified in the US from state NBS programs. With about 97% of the world's newborns born outside the US and Canada, there is a lot to be learned from interactions between NBS systems around the globe. APHL is currently working with Ministries of Health in several African countries to expand NBS programs and maximize the coverage of screened worldwide. Some African countries have expressed a desire to utilize NBS to improve the delivery of genetic health services. This presentation will highlight current and future NBS initiatives in several African counties. The goal of these NBS initiatives is to reduce morbidity and mortality related to NBS conditions, using sickle cell disease as a model.

Sickle cell disease (SCD) affects ~ 100 million people worldwide, and 5% of the world's population are carriers. Over 200,000 infants are born yearly with SCD in Africa of which 60% will die as infants according to WHO. Africa has the highest prevalence of sickle trait in the world with prevalence in Ghana and Nigeria estimated between 15-40%. Through NBS, newborns with SCD can be identified and treated early thus leading to better quality of life and a reduction in morbidity and mortality. At the end of the presentation, participants will be able to describe an overview of newborn screening initiatives in African countries.

Learning Areas:
Program planning
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related education
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
At the end of the presentation, participants will be able to describe current newborn screening initiatives in African countries

Keywords: International MCH, Neonatal Screening

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I oversee the newborn screening and genetics program at the Association of Public Health Laboratories.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.