Maria Hägglund and her team are awarded this years research grant from Johanna Ahléns memorial funds.

Sickle-cell disease (SCD) is a group of genetic disorders affecting the red blood cells leading to blood flow issues and chronic hemolytic anemia. Hallmark symptoms include painful vaso-occlusive crises, inflammatory diseases and multiple organ damages (e.g., immunodeficiency, chronic kidney issues, stroke, acute chest syndrome and chronic lung disease, retinopathy, chronic leg ulcers). While robust epidemiological data are lacking, estimates suggest that in Sweden around 600 individuals live with SCD. There are currently no Swedish national guidelines for treating adults with SCD. Although relatively rare in Sweden, this haemoglobinopathy is the most common monogenic disease in the world, affecting about 100 million people according to the WHO. Importantly, its prevalence is constantly increasing mainly due to travel (migration from more endemic regions) and to the mixing of populations.

Maria Hägglund 

In this precarious context, offering healthcare solutions that favor the autonomy and expertise of SCD patients are of the utmost importance. The grant will enable us to explore this with the aim to increase the understanding of SCD among healthcare professionals in Sweden. Rather than aiming to educate a select few healthcare professionals on the needs of SCD patients, we propose to implement a tried-and-tested tool to ensure all healthcare professionals in Sweden who encounter SCD patients will know how to treat them.

Find out more about the project and the grant here.

Visit Johanna Ahléns minnefond

Last modified: 2021-12-19