Neonatal/newborn haemoglobinopathy screening is being performed in an increasing number of European countries since changing patterns of immigration have led to significant numbers of neonates at risk of sickle cell disease. The purpose of screening is to improve management of sickle cell disease through early parental education and the institution of prophylaxis against infection. Some haemoglobinopathy screening programmes are stand-alone, while others are integrated into a neonatal screening programme for metabolic disorders. Despite the logistic problems and economic constraints, neonatal haemoglobinopathy screening is also being gradually introduced in a number of African countries.
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Competing interests: None.
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