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Neonatal Screening for Sickel Cell Disease in Urban Areas with Limited Resources: Case of Kindu City, East of the Democratic Republic of Congo

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Document pages: 10 pages

Abstract: Introduction: The Democratic Republic of Congo is the third most affected country in the world by sickle cell disease (SCD) after India and Nigeria. However, the available data on sickle cell disease in the DRC are piecemeal and do not reflect the current reality of the country. Conventional equipment recommended for neonatal screening for sickle cell disease (IEF, HPLC) is not available in Kindu. Currently, a simple, effective and affordable technique, the Sickel SCAN? Rapid Screening Test (RST), has been validated nationally in the Nsonso MD (2017) study. The aim of this study was to detect sickle cell disease in neonates in nine maternity homes in the city of Kindu by Sickle SCAN?. Methods: This is a descriptive cross-sectional study that involved newborns in nine maternity homes in the city of Kindu during the period from 01 June to 31 July 2018. Results: 310 newborns were screened, divided into 164 girls against 146 boys. 26.8 of newborns were diagnosed with sickle cell trait (n = 83); 1.9 were homozygous sickle cell (n = 6). Of all the newborns screened for SCD, there was no significant difference between the sexes: 50.6 were males vs. 49.4 females. Neonates diagnosed with homozygous sickle were from Lega (n = 3), Kusu (n = 1), Kasenga (n = 1) and Zimba (n = 1) tribes. Conclusion: The neonatal prevalence of sickle cell disease in the homozygote found in Kindu is almost similar to the actual prevalence of WHO in the DRC (2 ).

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