A Statutory Body of the Ministry of Health

South East Regional Health Authority

Bustamante Hospital for Children Annual Conference Focus on Sickle Cell Disease

Nov 10, 2016  |  Kingston

The Bustamante Hospital for Children hosted its annual Leila Wynter Commemorative Conference on Monday November 7, 2016 under the theme “Sickle Cell Disease in Children”. Dr. Winston De La Haye, Chief Medical Officer, Ministry of Health in his remarks that was read by Dr. Michelle Ann Richards-Dawson, Senior Medical Officer lauded BHC as a beacon for health care for children not only in Jamaica but the entire Region.

He further noted that Sickle Cell Disease continues to be health challenge globally with approximately five per cent of the world’s population carring the trait gene for haemoglobin disorders, mainly Sickle Cell Disease and Thalassaemia. “In Jamaica, one in every 150 births has a form of Sickle Cell Disease (SCD). A gene SCD is carried by 15 per cent of the Jamaican population. Current Estimates suggests that 1.8 per cent 1,000 persons in Jamaica are living with Sickle Cell Disease, making it a major Non-communicable Disease,” he said. Dr. De La Hay also noted that Sickle Cell Disease is one of the priority conditions that has been included under the Cabinet approved National Strategic and Action Plan for the prevention and control of NCDs 2013 to 2018.

“The Ministry of Health continues to implement targets for Sickle Cell Disease under this plan,” he added. “Persons with Sickle Cell continue to benefit as one of the Chronic Illnesses on the National Health Fund. Also, over 100 health care workers have been trained in Sickle Cell Disease management.”

Mr. Anthony Wood, Chief Executive Officer, Bustamante Hospital for Children, who represented Mr. Philip Armstrong, SERHA’s Board Chairman noted that according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Over 300,000 babies with severe Hemoglobin disorders are born each year, with the majority in low and middle income countries.

"Right here at the Bustamante Hospital for Children over 200 patients with Sickle Cell Disease were admitted last year,” he said. “Undoubtedly, the impact on families with children affected by Sickle Cell is far reaching as it involves emotional strain, interruption of studies and way of life because of frequent visits to health facilities for treatment and care. Therefore, strengthening the paediatric health system to meet the needs of our young patients is paramount."

Both Dr. De La Hay and Mr. Armstrong noted that the conference will assist health care professionals in their understanding of and treatment of Sickle Cell Disease.

The presentations included:

  • Management of Acute Pain in the ER in Children with Sickle Cell Disease
  • Facing Life With Sickle Cell Disease
  • The Dynamic Physical Therapy Management of Sickle Cell Disease
  • Sickle Cell Retinopathy
  • Sickle Cell Disease at Bustamante Hospital for Children
  • Anaesthetic and Surgical Outcomes
  • Upper Airway Obstruction in the Child with Sickle Cell Disease
  • Pulmonary Complication of Sickle Cell Disease
  • Hydroxyurea– The Jamaican Experience
  • Case Discussion– Sickle Nephropathy
  • Case Discussion-- Neurological Complications of Acute Chest Syndrome
  • Differentiating Vaso-occlusive Crisis from Osteomyelitis

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