2011 record: For a Caribbean coordinating the fight against sickle cell disease
In 1910 the first case of Sickle Cell Disease was reported in the western medical literature by James Herrick. In that report he described Sickle Cell Disease in a Grenadian Dental Student. Countries in the region share a common ancestral heritage resulting in the presence of genes coding for abnormal haemoglobins being present with significant frequencies. The United Nations (UN), has recognized the public health burden of sickle cell and has declared JUNE 19TH, as the “World Day of Sickle Cell Disease”. Neonatal Screening has emerged as one of the most cost-effective public health strategy to address the public health burden of Sickle Cell Disease in areas with high prevalence of the Sickle Cell gene. The institution of successful national neonatal screening programmes requires a comprehensive health policy, that apportions adequate financial, human and laboratory resources, and health service systems that facilitates a multidisciplinary approach to health promotion, education and management for children and adults with sickle cell disease.