Medication & Research
Bone Marrow Transplants & Screening Newborns
antibiotics, pain management, intravenous fluids, blood transfusion and surgery all backed by psychosocial support. Like all patients with chronic disease patients are best managed in a comprehensive multi-disciplinary program of care
Bone marrow transplants
Bone marrow transplants have proven to be effective in children. Bone marrow transplants are the only known cure for SCD.
Screening newborns for sickle cell disease is perhaps the first step to effective treatment of the disease. NBS will grant the patient, early enough access to penicillin prophylaxis, vaccination against pneumococcus bacteria and folic acid supplementation.
Folic acid and penicillin
Children born with sickle-cell disease will undergo close observation by the pediatrician and will require management by a haematologist to assure they remain healthy. These patients will take a 1 mg dose of folic acid daily for life. From birth to five years of age, they will also have to take penicillin daily due to the immature immune system that makes them more prone to early childhood illnesses.
The protective effect of sickle cell trait does not apply to people with sickle cell disease; in fact, they are uniquely vulnerable to malaria, since the most common cause of painful crises in malarial countries is infection with malaria. It has therefore been recommended that people with sickle cell disease living in malarial countries should receive anti-malarial chemoprophylaxis for life.