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PLOS BLOGS Speaking of Medicine and Health

This Week in PLOS Medicine: Global Burden of Sickle Cell Anemia, Animal Studies in Translational Research

This week PLOS Medicine publishes the following new articles:

Image Credit: Janice Haney Carr, CDC
Image Credit: Janice Haney Carr, CDC

Frédéric Piel and colleagues find that the global burden of sickle cell anemia (SCA), a hereditary blood disorder, is increasing, with almost half a million babies estimated to be born with the condition in 2050. Newborn babies in Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and India will be most affected. Implementing basic health interventions by 2015, such as newborn screening, penicillin prophylaxis, and vaccination, could increase survival of more than five million newborns with SCA by 2050. Universal screening programs could save the lives of almost 10 million newborns with SCA globally, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. These findings can be used to guide national policy decisions on public health spending.

In an accompanying perspective article, David Osrin and Edward Fottrell comment on how, as child death rates from SCA decrease, the relative burden of child morbidity and disability will increase and require changing policies and health services.

Carlijn Hooijmans and colleagues discuss developments that might improve the quality and translation of animal research, focusing on the importance of systematic reviews, the role of an international register of animal studies, and co-operation across the wider scientific community.


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