Angola Sickle Cell Initiative (ASCI)
Our participation in the Angola Sickle Cell Initiative (ASCI) has helped to create and implement a comprehensive sickle cell disease initiative in Angola, a country in southwest Africa. This initiative is designed to improve clinical care for children with sickle cell disease. The improvements target the screening, diagnosis, care, treatment, monitoring and evaluation of sickle cell patient. In addition, expanded provisions for research, capacity building, community mobilization, and health professional training have been made in Angola. The Angola Sickle Cell Initiative formed in 2011 as a partnership between the Angola Ministry of Health, Chevron Corporation, Baylor College of Medicine, and Texas Children’s Hospital.
Current Activities and Results
Newborn Screening Program (NBS)
The Newborn Screening Program tests newborns at 5 sites in Luanda and 11 in Cabinda. Since 2011, over 244,000 newborns have been screened for sickle cell disease and 1,488 of these children were diagnosed with sickle cell. The families of babies who test positive are contacted so that they can visit the clinic to receive care and treatment that they otherwise would not have received.
Improving sickle cell care
Specialized clinics provide treatment for existing patients with sickle cell disease and those who are newly-diagnosed through the Newborn Screening Program. These clinics provide vaccines, penicillin, and malaria nets to prevent other transmissible diseases that could potentially complicate the treatment of their blood disorder. We work with the local staff at these clinics to help improve the structure, organization and care that is provided at these very busy clinics. More than 2,300 patients are currently enrolled to receive care in these clinics.
Local medical providers from Angola are trained to care for children with sickle cell disease. Consults are provided for other hematological conditions, such as hemophilia, aplastic anemia and more.
Gladstone Airewele, MD
Director, Global Hematology Programs