The Haitian Roundtable has teamed up with Dr. Natasha Archer to tackle sickle cell disease in Haiti. The strategic partnership was announced at this year’s 1804 List event. Dr. Archer, a pediatric hematologist at Boston Children’s Hospital and 2016 inductee to the 1804 List, aims to screen 100,000 newborns annually in Haiti for the inherited blood disorder that kills up to 90% of those affected before the age of five.
The 2022 Haiti Sickle Cell Initiative seeks to change that narrative with the support of the Haitian community. Sickle cell disease affects 1 in every 150 babies born in Haiti, which has no national newborn screening program and no clear national standards of infant management and family education.
Dr. Archer and her team have established a newborn screening laboratory at the University Hospital of Mirebalais for all babies born at that hospital. The goal of the initiative is to establish a national program to screen 100,000 newborns annually for sickle cell disease and provide penicillin and immunizations to at least 80% of children found to have the disease by 2022. This should greatly reduce the mortality rate of children under the age of five in Haiti.
Dr. Archer and her team have worked alongside many health crusaders in the Haitian community. However, to dramatically change the outlook for children in Haiti with sickle cell disease, she needs the help of talented individuals across many disciplines interested in improving Haiti. The Haitian Roundtable has come on board as a strategic partner and invites all Haitians – whether you are a doctor, a lawyer, a social media expert, artist, business person, community activist, organizer, or educator – to support this effort. We need the entire community to join us.
People with sickle cell disease suffer from poor care and early death. Together, we can change the sickle cell disease narrative. Stay tuned for more information on how you can get involved with the 2022 Haiti Sickle Cell Initiative.