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Fight against sickle-cell disease: doctors trained thanks to support from the Government of Monaco meet in Mali

From 28 to 30 November 2018, doctors with a University Degree [Diplôme Universitaire, D.U.] in Sickle-cell Disease from the Bamako Research Centre devoted to the Fight against Sickle-Cell Disease, funded by the Government of Monaco, met within the framework of an international conference on this disease.

The audience and teachers at the conference in the presence of the Minister of Health (in white in the photograph) and the representative of the Minister of Education.

The aim of the conference was to review with the doctors the management of sickle-cell disease in their respective countries*, to discover the innovations each of them had developed since they were awarded their university degrees, and to look at the future perspectives. Another objective was to set up a network for the exchange of knowledge and expertise, so as to reinforce the fight against sickle-cell disease effectively in the regions involved.

Since its creation in 2014, 82 doctors from 10 French-speaking African countries have been awarded this University Degree in Sickle-Cell Disease.  The teaching, focusing on the fundamentals of sickle-cell disease and patient care, is provided by specialist doctors from Burkina Faso, Mali, Senegal and France. 

The fight against sickle-cell disease is one of the flagship programmes in the Government of Monaco's development cooperation policy. Since 2007, Monaco’s Office of International Cooperation has supported projects in this field focusing on three main aspects: caring, training and creating a network dynamic.

In light of this, the referring doctors specialising in sickle-cell disease in 6 countries** worked as a network to develop a common guide for managing this disease in West Africa and Madagascar, a first for Africa.  Supported by Monaco’s Office of International Cooperation from the very outset, the guide was sent to the Ministers of Health in the countries involved in summer 2018. The diffusion has just started in each of the 6 countries and is going to concentrate on reaching the entire healthcare pyramid, from the smallest health centres to large reference centres in the capitals.  

For the record, sickle-cell disease, a hereditary group of disorders that affect the haemoglobin, is the world’s most common genetic blood disorder: according to the World Health Organization, 50 million people worldwide have the sickle-cell trait, and it is estimated that 1 child in 2 affected by the disease dies before the age of 5 if they are not treated.

*Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Senegal, Chad

**Burkina Faso, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Senegal

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