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article imageAfrican Sickle-Cell Anemia Deaths Heighten By Vaccine Shortage

By John Louie S. Ramos     Sep 11, 2009 in Health
Despite readily available vaccines, death rate of sickle-cell anemia in African children remains to be a growing concern, researchers said Thursday.
According to Tom Williams, an expert in tropical diseases from the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI), thousands of lives are lost yearly because of sickle-cell anemia.
He added that despite the fact that vaccines against the bacterial infection is available and treatment had long been known, almost 90 percent of children born with the disease die even before they were diagnosed.
"The problem here in Africa is that there is hardly anyone doing any screening," Williams said in an interview with
A study published in the Lancet Medical Journal suggests that African children with sickle-cell anemia are at greater risk of bacterial infections compared to children in the United States and Europe suffering the same disease.
Sickle-cell anemia affects millions of people worldwide, 80 percent of cases were in Africa and nearly 200,000 children are born with the disease yearly.
Vaccines against the disease are routinely available in develop countries such as the United States and Europe, however, because of lack of funds and resources, vaccination against the disease isn't a top priority.
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