PerkinElmer, Waltham, Mass, and the American Society of Hematology are collaborating to support an effort to increase capacity for newborn screening, education, and clinical interventions for sickle cell disease (SCD) in sub-Saharan Africa. Roughly 120 million people globally have SCD, two-thirds of whom live in Africa, where a majority of children who have SCD die before the age of 5. Universal newborn screening for SCD, in practice in many high-income countries, does not exist in most of Africa. Early detection is critical to allow healthcare providers to begin effective treatment and improve long-term health outcomes of children with SCD. Through this collaboration, PerkinElmer and ASH will enhance their efforts to bring SCD screening to countries in sub-Saharan Africa, investing resources to develop screening networks, education, clinical intervention, and advocacy through the Consortium on Newborn Screening in Africa (CONSA), a collaboration with African hematologists, public health authorities, and ASH dedicated to studying the benefits of newborn screening and early therapeutic interventions for SCD. CONSA introduces standard-of-care practices for screening and early intervention therapies (such as antibiotic prophylaxis and immunizations) with plans to screen 10,000 to 20,000 newborns per year in each sub-Saharan country and provide clinical follow-up for babies who test positive for SCD. “Through CONSA, we have the chance to show the long-term benefits of newborn screening and early interventions for sickle cell disease led by hematologists in Africa,” says Enrico Novelli, MD, chief of the Section of Benign Hematology at the University of Pittsburgh and CONSA cochair. “Clinical sites from countries in Africa are working with PerkinElmer and ASH to acquire the support and expertise needed to improve survival for children living with sickle cell disease,” says Nancy Berliner, MD, chief of the Division of Hematology at Harvard Medical School and CONSA cochair. “We want to demonstrate the value of these programs to encourage partners to scale up.” For more information, visit PerkinElmer and American Society of Hematology. Featured image: Microscopic image of red blood cells of a patient with sickle cell anemia. Image © Ivanmattioli, courtesy Dreamstime (ID 157748785).