Working Hours


Hotline & General Information

050-143-6662 /030-708-6490

Formalising Newborn Screening and Knowing Your Sickle Cell Disease Status

World Sickle Cell Day is an annual event observed on June 19th to raise awareness about sickle cell disease (SCD) and to support individuals living with this genetic disorder. This year’s theme focuses on recognizing that, the first step to fighting SCD is knowing one’s Genotype in infants and adults. Many people globally, only discover their status when they have children. With a new age world of advanced technology, it is easy to know your SCD status. A simple test can save lives.  

Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a genetic blood disorder that affects the structure and function of red blood cells. Here is an overview of the key information about sickle cell disease:  

adorable cheerful african american baby lying bed

Overview of Sickle Cell Disease: 

Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a genetic blood disorder that affects the structure and function of red blood cells. Understanding key aspects of the disease is crucial for effective management and support. 

Prevalence and Genetics: 

SCD is primarily prevalent in populations with African, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and Indian ancestry. Inheritance occurs in an autosomal recessive manner, meaning both parents must pass on a copy of the mutated gene for a child to have the disease. The mutated gene produces abnormal haemoglobin, known as haemoglobin S. 

Altered Red Blood Cells: 

Normally, red blood cells have a round shape that allows them to flow smoothly through blood vessels. In SCD, the presence of abnormal haemoglobin causes red blood cells to become stiff, sticky, and crescent-shaped, resembling a sickle. These sickle cells can block blood flow in small vessels, leading to reduced oxygen supply to tissues and various complications. 

Symptoms and Complications: 

Symptoms of sickle cell disease can vary among individuals. Chronic pain, referred to as bone pain crises, is the most common symptom and can affect different parts of the body. Other complications include anaemia, increased susceptibility to infections, organ damage (such as the lungs, kidneys, and spleen), stroke, acute chest syndrome, vision problems, delayed growth and development in children, and priapism (painful, prolonged erection). 

Early Detection and Diagnosis: 

Early detection plays a crucial role in managing sickle cell disease. Many countries have implemented newborn screening programs to identify the disease in infants. Laboratory tests, including haemoglobin electrophoresis, confirm the diagnosis by detecting the presence of abnormal haemoglobin. Genetic testing can also be employed to determine carrier status or diagnose SCD in cases with atypical symptoms. 

Treatment & Management:

The management of sickle cell disease aims to prevent and alleviate complications, manage symptoms, and enhance the quality of life. Treatment options include pain management through analgesics, adequate hydration, blood transfusions, and medications to prevent infections and reduce complications. Hydroxyurea, a medication that increases the production of fetal haemoglobin, is often prescribed to reduce the frequency of pain crises. In certain eligible cases, blood and marrow stem cell transplantation can offer a potential cure. 

  • Lifestyle Considerations

Adopting a healthy lifestyle is crucial for individuals with sickle cell disease. Regular exercise, a balanced diet, adequate hydration, and avoiding triggers that may precipitate a crisis like extreme temperatures, dehydration, and stress are recommended. Vaccinations, particularly against influenza, pneumonia, and meningitis, play a vital role in preventing complications. 

  • Emotional & Social Support

Living with sickle cell disease can have a significant impact on a person’s emotional well-being and social life. To address these challenges, supportive care measures such as counselling, education, and participation in patient support groups can help individuals and their families cope with the challenge associated with the disease. 

  • Research & Future Outlook

Ongoing research efforts are focused on advancing our understanding of sickle cell disease, improving treatment options, and ultimately finding a cure. Exciting developments in gene therapy and gene editing techniques show promise for potential curative approaches. Advocacy, public awareness, and funding for research are vital for driving progress in the field. 

It is important to consult with healthcare professionals or specialists who can provide personalized information and guidance based on an individual’s specific situation and needs.  

At Nyaho Medical Centre, we are dedicated to delivering comprehensive care to individuals living with Sickle Cell Disease. Our commitment extends to providing specialized treatment, effective pain management, and continuous support to enhance their quality of life. With a team of experienced experts, we are here to guide and assist SCD patients at every stage of their journey. Count on us to provide the care and support you need to navigate the challenges of Sickle Cell Disease and live a fulfilling life


Book An Appointment Online
Our main branch at Airport Residential Area is open 24/7 all year round, weekends and holidays inclusive.