AFRICA – African countries to receive advanced technology that will document and share the diagnosis of babies with sickle cell disease (SCD) through partnership between Novartis and the American Society of Hematology (ASH) for better management of SCD.

The partnership with ASH will deliver modern technology to Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania and Zambia to facilitate early diagnosis of sickle cell disorders as it is key to managing the disease and ensuring better health outcomes to improve the quality of life for people living with SCD.

The partnership comes at a time when no country in the African region has adopted a universal newborn screening program for sickle cell disease despite the high disease prevalence where out of 300,000 children born with SCD each year, 75% of the babies are born in Sub Saharan Africa.

The Novartis Africa Sickle Cell Disease program is implemented through public-private partnerships with local governments, as well as collaborations with universities, patient groups, professional societies and other organizations

Novartis is a leading global medicines company that uses innovative science and digital technologies to create transformative treatments in areas of great medical need to improve and extend people’s lives. It is ranked among the world’s top companies investing in research and development.

Recently, Novartis partnered with AHS, through its ASH’s Consortium on Newborn Screening in Africa (CONSA), to introduce better tools for SCD diagnosis in Ghana through an application used to collect and store data including screening results and medical histories for those people diagnosed with SCD.

The app also has the benefit of tracking patients and migrating them to clinical enrollment for further care for instance CONSA screens 10,000 – 16,000 babies per year in Sub-Saharan Africa so far and provides clinical follow-up for babies living with SCD.

The Consortium on Newborn Screening in Africa is an international network that seeks to demonstrate the benefits of newborn screening and early interventions for children with SCD in sub-Saharan Africa through standard-of-care practices for screening and early intervention therapies.

Novartis has entered into a new collaboration with AHS to expand its current newborn screening consortium to the six other CONSA nations with the implementation of digital tools to collect vital information on sickle cell disease and promote early diagnosis and treatment to save lives.

In Ghana, Novartis and The Sickle Cell Foundation of Ghana worked with Dimagi to integrate an additional feature that allows for offline data collection when internet connections are down and then syncs the data once the connection is restored which will now be rolled out to the six African nations.

The partnership will also support wider knowledge on treatment and care including through publications on research findings, professional education and dissemination to policy makers as well as provide world-class practices for screening and early intervention therapies at participating institutions.

Novartis has reaffirmed its commitment to provide a comprehensive approach to disease management that encompasses early intervention strategies, follow-up treatment, research to investigate new treatments and education and advocacy to improve access to existing therapies.

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