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Producing a training manual for practitioners responsible for treating sickle cell disease in West Africa and Madagascar

Project leader
Location multi-country
Duration 2015 - 2017
Intervention Area Health
Funding 80 000,00 €


Sickle Cell Disease is a hereditary genetic disease.  It is the most prevalent genetic disease in the world, affecting approximately 50 million people. The most virulent type has high rates of mortality and morbidity.

This disease proves fatal for 50% of children under 5 years of age, and the sequelae are often debilitating and cause great suffering (these include haemolytic anaemia, necrosis of the femoral head, retarded growth, loss of vision, strokes, priapism, eye problems, etc.).

The countries in the tropical belt are the most affected, especially in West Africa and Madagascar, where sickle cell disease is a major public health problem because of its high prevalence, estimated at 10 to 25%. The populations of various affected partner countries (Burkina Faso, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal) often live below the poverty line and access to healthcare is not easy for many families, even in urban centres.

Using existing documents and drawing on the involvement and expertise of the centres of reference for sickle cell disease in the six partner countries, the project aims to produce a guide to treating people affected by the sickle cell syndrome. This guide is intended for healthcare staff in the widest sense.

The project builds on what already exists; each centre is involved in this work, in a successful or less successful manner depending on each country, and produces treatment manuals. The compilation of this information and these documents must also extend beyond the circle of the six partner countries. It must be complementary, enriching and harmonious in order to offer one or more documents in a printed or electronic format, updatable if possible, and must be accessible to as many health professionals as possible.

The challenge is to bring about real improvements in knowledge and practices, both in the centres of reference and at all levels of the health pyramid in countries where there is a high incidence of this disease. 

Overall objective

Increase the competence of healthcare staff in West Africa and Madagascar by producing and disseminating a cross-cutting manual on treating sickle cell disease.


Six partner countries: Burkina Faso, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal. 

Direct beneficiaries:

  • Healthcare staff in centres combating sickle cell disease
  • Care staff in health centres, dispensaries, emergency departments, hospitals and the whole of the treatment pyramid, including doctors in the private sector and medical
  • Testing laboratories 


Indirect beneficiaries:

  • Patients with sickle cell disease and their families spread across the whole of the territory of the affected countries
  • Ministries of Health
  • Patients' associations
  • Greater extension to other countries affected by sickle cell disease and everyone concerned with and/or affected by sickle cell disease 

Anticipated outcomes

  • The steering committee has been formed, its missions defined, and it has met once
  • The clinical situations have been described, treatment protocols developed, and fact sheets produced
  • A graphic chart has been produced, and the format tested and chosen
  • The guide is available to healthcare workers In each country at different levels of the healthcare pyramid
  • Training for trainers is undertaken