Hydroxyurea to treat sickle cell anaemia
Sickle cell anaemia is common in Kenya where more than 4000 children are born with the condition each year. On the basis of positive data from clinical trials, an increasing number of patients with sickle cell anaemia in high income countries are now being treated with hydroxyurea. No trials of hydroxyurea have been conducted in Africa where the safety and effectiveness of the drug remain unknown.
To fill this gap, in collaboration with colleagues in Cincinnati Childrens’ Hospital and at three other sites in Africa, we are conducting the Realizing Effectiveness Across Continents with Hydroxyurea (REACH) study, a multi-centre phase I/II clinical trial to investigate the safety of hydroxyurea as a supportive treatment in children with sickle cell disease. The three other sites involved in this study are Mbale in Uganda, Luanda in Angola and Kinshasa in the DRC. If successful, we hope that this study will lead to a larger trial that will inform national management policies for all children born with sickle cell anaemia in Africa, Kenya included.
Tom Williams, George Mochamah, Alex Macharia, Neema Mturi, Kathryn Maitland, Jimmy Shangala, Vicki Marsh, Benjamin Tsofa, Norbert Peshu, Anisa Omar, Russell Ware