Sickle cell disease affects millions of people around the world. In Canada, there are about 2,000 people living with the disease. Up to 1 in every 2,500 babies born in Canada will have the disease.1 Sickle cell disease is most common in families of African ancestry, but children of Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, sub-Saharan African, and Asian ancestry are also affected.
The Canadian Paediatric Society recommends that all children and youth new to Canada who travel from regions where sickle cell disease is common and do not have reliable, previous documentation should be screened for sickle cell disease.2
1Sickle Cell Disease Association of Canada. http://www.sicklecelldisease.ca/education/general-knowledge/
2Canadian Paediatric Society, Caring for Kids New to Canada. http://www.kidsnewtocanada.ca/conditions/sickle-cell