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Neonatal haemoglobinopathy screening in Burkina Faso
  1. E Kafando1,
  2. E Nacoulma1,
  3. Y Ouattara2,
  4. J Ayéroué3,
  5. F Cotton4,
  6. M Sawadogo1,
  7. B Gulbis4
  1. 1Laboratory of Haematology and Clinical Chemistry, UFR des Sciences de la Santé, Université de Ouagadougou, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
  2. 2Gynaecology Department, Shiphra Medical Center, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
  3. 3Paediatric Office of the Hôpital Universitaire Yalgado Ouédraogo, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
  4. 4Department of Clinical Chemistry, Hôpital Erasme, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium
  1. E Kafando, Laboratory of Haematology and Clinical Chemistry, UFR des Sciences de la Santé, Université de Ouagadougou, 03 BP 7021 Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso; ekafando{at}


Aims: To report our experience of neonatal screening for sickle cell disease in Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) and to discuss the feasibility of neonatal screening in this country.

Methods: Between the years 2000 and 2004, there were about 2341 births in five maternity services in Ouagadougou. These babies were screened for sickle cell disease in a universal screening pilot programme. In 2006, 53 babies born to selected couples were screened. The specimens were collected either by cord blood sampling or from a dried blood spot on filter paper. The screening was performed using an isoelectric focusing technique.

Results: In the first stage (2000–4), the incidence of sickle cell disease was 1:57. In the second stage, six of 53 babies of selected couples were found to have major haemoglobinopathies: one was homozygous for haemoglobin S and five were compound heterozygotes for haemoglobins S and C.

Conclusions: The results suggest that a national screening programme should be implemented in Burkina Faso with effective newborn and subsequent follow-up, but a methodology needs to be developed.

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  • Funding: This project was supported by a grant from the ‘Commission Universitaire pour le Développement’.

  • Competing interests: None.