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Pregnant Women and Newborns To Be Screened For Sickle Cell Disease (Source: Jamaica Information Service)

Pregnant Women and Newborns To Be Screened For Sickle Cell Disease (Source: Jamaica Information Service)

 

Come December, all public hospitals in Jamaica will be testing pregnant women and newborns for sickle cell disease (SCD). The universal screening programme is part of a thrust by the Government, to develop a strong framework for the early detection, diagnosis and treatment of persons suffering from the debilitating condition.

The objective is to minimise the effects of SCD on affected persons, so that they can live normal, healthy lives. SCD is one of the priority conditions that have been included in the Government’s Strategic and National Action Plan for the prevention and control of non communicable diseases (NCDs) 2013 to 2018.

The plan has the main objective of strengthening the management of SCD at the primary, secondary and tertiary care levels. The screening programme, being implemented by the Ministry of Health, involves collaboration with the Sickle Cell Unit (SCU) at the University of the West Indies (UWI); National Health Fund (NHF); Sickle Cell Support Foundation; and the Sickle Cell Trust.

The SCU will be carrying out the screenings through a $10 million grant from the NHF. (Read More)

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