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 Sickle Cell Disease Centre

Sickle cell disease, a debilitating autosomal recessive hematological disease, is a matter of significant public health importance throughout the world. In India, this disease has come to the forefront as a significant public health problem, and is often found among the Adivasi (indigenous) communities throughout India due to their location in areas which where/are prone to malaria. The sickle gene is an evolutionary and protective mechanism against the malarial parasite.


The Gudalur Adivasi Hospital has played an important role in addressing sickle cell disease in the Gudalur Valley. In 1998, the Gudalur Adivasi Hospital, with the help of Dr. Ronald Nagel, began conducting an epidemiological assessment of sickle cell disease in the Gudalur valley using a combination of the sodium metabisulphite test and the confirmatory hemoglobin electrophoresis.



In 2004, the Sickle Cell Disease Center at the Gudalur Adivasi Hospital was formalized, with the support of the Tribal India Health Foundation (c/o Hari Prabhakar) and the American Tamil Medical Association. The Center has focused on field and hospital-based screening, treatment, and education. The Center has now entered into a public-private partnership with the Tamil Nadu Health Systems Project.


For an overview of the Centers SOPs, please click here:here.

The services of the Center include:

* Clinical treatment and prophylaxis at the base hospital and area centers, including vaccination and hydroxyurea for eligible patients. Inpatient and outpatient management is provided.

* Field and hospital based screening and counselling for patients and at-risk couples, and general education for patients and their families



Illustration 1: Lab staff Pradeepa and Jayanthi, along with Erumad health animators, conducting a screening camp


Illustration 2: Immunizing a pediatric sickle cell patient with the pneumococcal vaccine


Illustration 3: Processing screening results in the laboratory


The research interests of the Centre include examining the epidemiology of SCD in the area, tracking patient outcomes, and exploring alternative plant-based therapies to sickle cell management.


The Centre is grateful for the continuing support from the following organizations:


* American Tamil Medical Association (www.atmaus.org)

* Tamil Nadu Health Systems Project, Govt. of Tamil Nadu (www.tnhsp.org)

* Tribal India Health Foundation ( www.tihf.org.in)

* UIC Sickle Cell Center (http://uicscc.org)


Current Center Statistics (2015):


Screening Data (Cumulative from 1997):

Total Screened

Screened at Hospital

Screened in Village

Number of HbAS

Number of HbSS

HbAS%

HbSS%

15457

8611

6846

1922

293

12.4%

1.9%



Treatment Data:

Sickle Cell Inpatient Admissions (2004-2014)

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

13

26

37

36

58

51

29

76

83

57

87



Patients Actively Seeking Treatment at the Center: 253