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WHO Executive Board reports: Previous page | 1,2,3,4,5,6

The WHO Executive Board (EB117), January 23-28 2006, is recommending for consideration to the WHA59, May, 2006 the following resolution:

  NMH EB117 resolutions:

EB117/R3: Sickle-cell anaemia

Sickle-cell anaemia is a common genetic condition due to inheritance of mutant haemoglobin genes from both parents. About 5% of the world’s population carries the genes, and each year about 300 000 infants are born with major haemoglobin disorders. In some areas of sub-Saharan Africa, up to 2% of all children are born with the condition. Sickle-cell anaemia is particularly common among people whose ancestors come from sub-Saharan Africa, India, Saudi Arabia and Mediterranean countries.

The public health implications of sickle-cell anaemia are clear, as it causes either death or disability. It can lead to a serious risk of death before the age of seven years from a sudden profound anaemia, while most affected people have chronic anaemia and may also suffer recurrent and unpredictable severe painful crises.

Sickle cell anaemia can be prevented and managed, although in many countries where it is prevalent the response has been inadequate. The report recommends early intervention, improved treatment and management, as well as improved education and testing for genetic risk before marriage or pregnancy.

The Executive Board recommends a resolution to the WHA59 which urges URGES Member States to develop, implement and reinforce national, integrated programmes for the prevention and management of sickle-cell anaemia aimed at reducing the incidence, morbidity and mortality associated with this genetic disease. It also requests WHO to work to increase awareness of sickle cell anaemia and to support Member States with technical guidance and encourage ongoing research.

Related links

- Resolution
- Report of the secretariat
- Department of Chronic Diseases and Health Promotion

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