World Sickle Cell Awareness Day 2021: Connecting healthcare professionals globally to share experiences and learn in a multidisciplinary education network
Every year, over 300,000 babies are born with a severe haemoglobin disorder, of which a major proportion is sickle cell disease (SCD). Despite this significant burden, the diagnosis of SCD is often delayed, particularly in low resource settings where access to screening is not widely available. This means SCD may only be detected after the child develops severe or sometimes even life threatening complications, resulting in both increased morbidity and mortality in this age group.
As access to screening and interventions to prevent complications in early life increases, this will help improve survival for children with SCD, and healthcare professionals must be equipped to help support older patients with multimorbidities as a result of complications developed later in life. This care throughout the lifetime will require a multidisciplinary approach, and therefore the potential value of cross-discipline, peer-to-peer learning cannot be underestimated.
In response to this, MedShr - a global learning platform for healthcare professionals - has launched a free, open access Sickle Cell Education Network to empower healthcare professionals, students, and experts in the field to share knowledge around SCD. The aim is to connect professionals across the multidisciplinary team - including physicians, nurses, clinical officers, pharmacists and community health workers - to promote peer-to-peer learning and engagement around some of the challenges encountered in caring for patients with SCD.
There are already specialists from a range of disciplines, including haematology, paediatrics, general practice and emergency medicine, discussing cases focussed on the management of SCD in children. Future cases include a focus on care in special situations, such as optimising pain control or managing SCD during surgery and in pregnancy.
As this network continues to grow, we hope it will become a sustainable educational forum for healthcare professionals around the world to help raise awareness and promote education about SCD, and ultimately help improve the lives of patients living with this disease.
For free access to the Sickle Cell Global Education Network, doctors and other health professionals are encouraged to sign up here.
MedShr also offers free, fast-tracked, registration for medical schools, hospitals and medical societies. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to make arrangements.