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  • While screening for sickle cell disease in the Cayman Islands has been in place since the early 1970s for high risk families, and since the 1980s for school entry screening, routine newborn screening has been in place since 1997. This has helped in early identification of sickle cell trait and... While screening for sickle cell disease in the Cayman Islands has been in place since the early 1970s for high risk families, and since the 1980s for school entry screening, routine newborn screening has been in place since 1997. This has helped in early identification of sickle cell trait and disease with appropriate counseling and management.

    “It is important to test for sickle cell trait- as this information can help parents make informed reproductive choices. If someone has sickle cell trait, it is important to know if one’s partner is also a carrier. If both parents are sickle cell carriers, then with each pregnancy, there is a 25% risk of having a child with sickle cell disease. While sickle cell trait is mild, sickle cell disease is serious”, said Mrs. Joy Merren, Genetics Coordinator at the Health Services Authority.

    At present, there are 46 persons with sickle cell disease known to the Public Health Department. Sickle cell disease is a chronic disorder. In the Cayman Islands, we have facilities to diagnose sickle cell disease and to manage it.

    A Sickle Cell Support Group meets four times a year. Patients and families receive information on management of the disorder as well as support. For further information, please contact Mrs. Joy Merren, Genetics Coordinator, on 244-2630 at the Public Health Department.
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