A project with:


Sickle Cell and Malaria in Nigeria

Sickle cell disease (SCD) is one of the most common and severe of all inherited hematological disorders, causing substantial morbidity and mortality worldwide. An estimated 150,000 babies are born annually in Nigeria with SCD, and 70-90% die before age 5. Meaningful preventive care and treatment cannot be implemented without early, accurate diagnosis and patient tracking.

Nigeria also carries the highest malaria burden in Africa, with approximately 57 million cases and over 100,000 deaths reported in 2016 by WHO.  Over three quarters of the population is at high risk of infection.  Improved malaria control for Nigeria requires fast, sensitive diagnostics and an electronic system for monitoring epidemics.

SMART project: Test, Capture, Integrate

SMART aims to provide solutions for early SCD and malaria diagnosis through point-of-care testing and mobile device registries in health facility settings in Kano Nigeria. This transformative system will include powerful point-of-care diagnostics from Hemex Health (with technologies licensed from Case Western Reserve University) and a custom-built mobile application with Patient Management capabilities from eHealth Africa (eHA) and IFAIN to be used by healthcare providers to capture patient information, POC test results, register new cases, and track patients for follow-up.  The data will be integrated into an Electronic Medical Record (EMR) for access by doctors, administrators, and researchers.  Communication will be primarily through the robust cellular network already established in Nigeria.

Test: Hemex Health diagnostic platform for scd and malaria

Hemex Health will offer a portable platform that supports both a 1-minute, sensitive malaria test as well as a quantitative, rapid sickle cell disease diagnostic.  Both tests are affordable for the developing world and are based on technologies licensed from Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) where they were clinically proven in the field. The Hemex point-of-care diagnostic is optimized for resource-limited settings: it is easily operated by an entry-level health worker and ruggedized for challenging environments. A custom disposable using a drop of blood (finger-prick) is inserted directly into the reader, which automatically provides fast (1 minute malaria, 8 minutes sickle cell), accurate, and easy-to-interpret results. Patient data, test results and GPS location can be stored in the reader or transmitted wirelessly.

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capture: Hemex data management capability and eha mobile app will capture, store and transmit patient info and test results.

  Stephen Obaro (IFAIN), Umut Gurkan (CWRU) and the Hemex Health team visiting a Nigerian SCD clinic. Patient files line the shelves near the ceiling.

Stephen Obaro (IFAIN), Umut Gurkan (CWRU) and the Hemex Health team visiting a Nigerian SCD clinic. Patient files line the shelves near the ceiling.

The Hemex diagnostic platform will be integrated into a Mobile Patient Health Record System Application developed by eHealth Africa and IFAIN. The Mobile Patient Health Record System will be used by healthcare providers for registration and tracking of children screened for SCD and malaria. It is expected that this electronic system can replace the current paper-based systems (see photo), resulting in improved patient tracking and fewer clerical errors.





integrate: data will be integrated into an electronic management system for personalized medicine, research, and disease surveillance and monitoring.


The system will produce reports of all cases of malaria and SCD and provide a dashboard to facilitate local and national responses. The EMR will track hospital visits, appointments, and lab tests. It will have mobile and dashboard applications for tracking samples to be analyzed for SCD and malaria. The application will be installed on tablets provided to laboratory technicians to use alongside a barcode labeler to label and track samples from the points of collection, and to log the location of the samples, their status, and test results. eHealthAfrica will provide support services to ensure that the health workers can communicate easily and securely while collecting data in the field, lab, or health facility.

impact on national health

We anticipate that our project will increase the rates of screening, diagnosis and timely treatment of SCD and malaria in Kano. The project’s broader impact will likely be the ability to track and monitor screening, disease detection, diagnosis and treatment. The data obtained and analyzed will be the first of their kind and may be used to inform the design of programs to improve access to, and availability of, effective care for this underserved population. The importance of increased access to diagnosis and treatment should not be underestimated – it is crucial for realizing elimination of malaria and effective management of people with SCD.

The Team

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