A four day international symposium on sickle cell anaemia opened on Monday (27 January) at the school of Medicine of Abidjan University, Ivory Coast.
GV University hospital
LV INT Delegates enter
SCU Minister of Health Aye (centre) sits down
SCU Professor Bertrand speaks, delegates applaud (2 shots)
CU & SV Professor Tisseyre speaks & delegates applaud (2 shots)
CU & SV Professor Barzilai speaks & delegates applaud (2 shots)
CU & GV Minister Aye speaks (2 shots)
Initials BB/2200 MF/MR/BB/2230
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Background: A four day international symposium on sickle cell anaemia opened on Monday (27 January) at the school of Medicine of Abidjan University, Ivory Coast.
The meeting brought together blood specialists and medical researchers from all over the world. There were 76 foreign participants, together with professors and doctors from Abidjan University and public health services in the Ivory Coast. This produced a total of 100 delegates from 19 different countries, to discuss all aspects of the diagnosis, symptoms, treatment and prevention of sickle cell anaemia.
The disease affects a large proportion of Africans and is hereditary. Generally it manifests itself in very young children, who suffer as a result of their arteries becoming blocked because of the malformation of red blood cells.
Because sickle cell anaemia is inherited only if both parents are carriers, although there is no cure, prevention is a possibility. The United States, has a black population of 22 million, of whom 8 per cent are carriers. Recently a U.S. federal budget allocated 135 million dollars (56.6 million sterling) to eradicate the disease by preventing marriage between men and women who are both carriers.
Welcoming the delegates to the Abidjan symposium, the Ivory Coast Minister of Health, Professor Hippolyte Aye said: "Although it might prove difficult to implement the decisions of a Marriage Guidance Council, thanks to the mass media a well organised and well conducted educational programme could go a long way towards eradicating sickle cell anaemia."