02/16/2017

At the 3rd Global Congress on Sickle Cell Disease, the Foundation looked back on its decade-long commitment to the fight against sickle cell anaemia, the world’s leading genetic disease.

Every three years, this congress brings together researchers and clinicians to report on progress made in combatting this disease.

Since 2006, the Fondation Pierre Fabre has made fighting sickle cell anaemia in Africa a top priority, providing both treatment support and international advocacy. Despite the disease’s magnitude (it is the world’s leading genetic disease, with some 50 million people thought to carry the sickle cell trait, according to the WHO), it receives less media coverage than many other ailments. The Fondation Pierre Fabre, the leading actor worldwide in healthcare investment and initiatives in the Global South, held a press conference in Paris to explain the importance of patient care and screening.

At this event, the Foundation reviewed the initiatives it has implemented for more than ten years, starting in 2006 with construction of the Research Centre to Combat Sickle Cell Disease (CRLD) in Mali, the only centre of its size and scope in sub-Saharan Africa. The CRLD has performed more than 50,000 medical consultations since it opened and is currently monitoring 7,300 sickle cell patients. Today, the Foundation operates seven disease-control programmes in nine countries in Africa and in Haiti, and is expanding its work to encompass medical research programmes.

Revolutionising sickle cell disease screening
At the Third Global Congress on Sickle Cell Disease, held in India 21-24 February, the Foundation will present the initial results of the Drepatest study measuring the effectiveness of a rapid screening method for the disease. Screening is not a widespread practice in Africa and, if this test proves reliable, it will make screening more accessible, which is essential to providing effective patient identification and care.

This study is currently underway in Mali, the DRC and Togo and involves nearly 3,000 newborns, children and adults. It is being conducted in collaboration with the hospitals of Bamako, Kinshasa and Lomé, and with the support of Fondation Mérieux and the INSERM.

Download the press kit - pdf - 11.33 MB

The press conference in video