Archives Disease in Childhood

 Effective screening leads to better outcomes in sickle cell disease

The importance of newborn screening for sickle haemoglobinopathies is now recognised, and its use has been expanding worldwide in recent years. This crucial blood test, often administered shortly after birth, can accurately diagnose sickle cell disease, allowing early interventions. As more countries adopt sickle cell screening programmes, it becomes essential to have periodic data assessments to determine overall effectiveness and identify areas for improvement. In this context, two timely reviews of the nationwide England programme have now been conducted.

With the possible exception of childhood immunisations, newborn screening can be considered one of the most successful public health programmes ever developed for improving child health. Newborn screening provides the means for early detection of congenital diseases, typically through laboratory testing of blood collected soon after birth. Abnormal screening results should always be confirmed, and then followed by prompt intervention and early disease management, with the specific goal of preventing...