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Neonatal Screening for Sickle Cell Disease in Belgium for More than 20 Years: An Experience for Comprehensive Care Improvement

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Department of Clinical Chemistry, LHUB-ULB, Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) 322, Rue Haute, 1000 Brussels, Belgium
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Department of Hemato-Oncology Hôpital Universitaire des Enfants Reine Fabiola, Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) 15, av. J.J. Crocq, 1020 Brussels, Belgium
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Department of Laboratory Medicine CHR de la Citadelle, 1, Boulevard de la 12ème Ligne, 4000 Liège, Belgium
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Department of Pediatric, University Hospital Liège, CHR de la Citadelle, 1, Boulevard de la 12ème Ligne, 4000 Liège, Belgium
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Department of Human Genetics CHU Sart Tilman, Université de Liège (ULg) Domaine Universitaire du Sart Tilmant Bâtiment 35-B, 4000 Liège, Belgium
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Neonatal Screen. 2018, 4(4), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijns4040037
Received: 7 October 2018 / Revised: 15 November 2018 / Accepted: 20 November 2018 / Published: 27 November 2018
Our previous results reported that compared to sickle cell patients who were not screened at birth, those who benefited from it had a lower incidence of a first bacteremia and a reduced number and days of hospitalizations. In this context, this article reviews the Belgian experience on neonatal screening for sickle cell disease (SCD). It gives an update on the two regional neonatal screening programs for SCD in Belgium and their impact on initiatives to improve clinical care for sickle cell patients. Neonatal screening in Brussels and Liège Regions began in 1994 and 2002, respectively. Compiled results for the 2009 to 2017 period demonstrated a birth prevalence of sickle cell disorder above 1:2000. In parallel, to improve clinical care, (1) a committee of health care providers dedicated to non-malignant hematological diseases has been created within the Belgian Haematology Society; (2) a clinical registry was implemented in 2008 and has been updated in 2018; (3) a plan of action has been proposed to the Belgian national health authority. To date, neonatal screening is not integrated into the respective Belgian regional neonatal screening programs, the ongoing initiatives in Brussels and Liège Regions are not any further funded and better management of the disease through the implementation of specific actions is not yet perceived as a public health priority in Belgium. View Full-Text
Keywords: sickle cell disease; neonatal screening program; registry; birth prevalence sickle cell disease; neonatal screening program; registry; birth prevalence
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Gulbis, B.; Lê, P.-Q.; Ketelslegers, O.; Dresse, M.-F.; Adam, A.-S.; Cotton, F.; Boemer, F.; Bours, V.; Minon, J.-M.; Ferster, A. Neonatal Screening for Sickle Cell Disease in Belgium for More than 20 Years: An Experience for Comprehensive Care Improvement. Int. J. Neonatal Screen. 2018, 4, 37.

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