Anaemia is estimated to affect more than 3.5 billion people in the developing world and is one of the most common preventable causes of death in children under 5 years and pregnant women.
These deaths are preventable because anaemia can be treated, but treatment cannot occur without accurate diagnosis and accurate dianostic tools for anaemia are in short supply.
Malaria RiskNo Malaria
Anaemia and Malaria
It has been estimated that severe malarial anaemia causes between 190,000 and 974,000 deaths each year among children less than 5 years.(1)
Malarial anaemia can be treated using blood transfusions, but transfusions expose children to the risk of HIV and other blood-borne diseases. Given these risks, treatment can only be undertaken when an accurate diagnosis of anaemia can be made.
(1) Murphy SC. Gaps in the childhood malaria burden in Africa... American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 2001;64:57-67.
Anaemia and HIV/AIDS
Anaemia is the most common complication seen in people with HIV/AIDS and it has been estimated that as many as 80% of AIDS patients may have anaemia.(2)
HIV/AIDS guidelines state that a haemoglobin estimation and an HIV test are the absolute minimum before anti-retroviral therapy, meaning that simple, reliable and affordable screening tools must be widely available.
(2) Levine AM, et al. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2001;26:28-35.