Novartis today announced a partnership with the American Society of Hematology (ASH) to provide six additional African nations with technology that is already being used in Ghana to document and share the diagnosis of babies with Sickle Cell Disease (SCD). The partnership will not only deliver better tools to track a baby’s diagnosis, but also support greater knowledge on treatment and care, including through publications on research findings, professional education and dissemination to policy makers and other audiences, according to a statement by Novartis.
The statement said that Novartis partnership with ASH’s Consortium on Newborn Screening in Africa (CONSA) will provide standard-of-care practices for screening and early intervention therapies at participating institutions in seven countries: Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania and Zambia. CONSA screens 10,000-16,000 babies per year in each country and provides clinical follow-up for babies living with SCD. The app will be used to collect and store data including screening results and medical histories for those people diagnosed with SCD. It has the benefit of tracking patients and migrating them to clinical enrollment for further care.
The app allows for offline data collection when internet connections are down, and then syncs the data once the connection is restored. Novartis and The Sickle Cell Foundation of Ghana worked with social impact technology organisation, Dimagi, to add this feature which will now be rolled out to the six other CONSA nations as part of the new partnership, the statement added.
It further mentioned that Hydroxyurea, the current global standard of care for SCD, will be made available in more facilities participating in CONSA.