​​Summer 2016

​New practicum and best practices guide added to Ghana's arsenal against hemoglobinopathies.
Photo: Team members and participants take a break during GENECIS 2 training in Ghana.

Team members take a break during GENECIS 2 training in Ghana.

APHL continued to combat to sickle cell disease (SCD) and other hemoglobinopathies in 2016 with an expanded training program in Ghana and a new guide to best practices in hemoglobinopathy screening, confirmation and follow-up.

The association added a 20-hour supervised practicum to its Sickle Cell Genetic Counselor Training and Certification Program in Ghana. The program, developed in collaboration with CDC and international experts from the United Kingdom, Ghana and the US, aims to build nationwide capacity for genetic counseling. It serves as a model for other African countries seeking to develop newborn screening programs for SCD.

The new practicum offers supervised placements in genetic counseling at community health centers and hospitals as a complement to classroom instruction. It was added to the curriculum in response to student requests for field experience.

Thirteen participants have advanced to the practicum after successfully completing their first week of training in July.

APHL Guide to Hemoglobinopathy Practices

Designed for countries beginning population screening for SCD, APHL’s guide, Hemoglobinopathies: Current Practices for Screening, Confirmation and Follow-up, details best practices in US newborn screening programs and regional sickle cell treatment centers. The guide covers all facets of screening for SCD and other hemoglobinopathies, from specimen collection, screening methodologies, and interpretation of screening results to quality assurance, proficiency testing and follow-up procedures. Available online, free of charge, the guide is accompanied by the following training modules: 

  • Module 1: Introduction, History, Specimen Collection
  • Module 2a: Hemoglobinopathy Screening Methods: Isoelectric Focusing, High Performance Liquid Chromatography
  • Module 2b: Molecular Methods, Tandem Mass Spectrometry, Overall Method Advantages and Limitations
  • Module 3: Screening and Reporting Algorithms, Quality Assurance, Follow-up

For more information, contact Jelili Ojodu, MPH, director, Newborn Screening and Genetics, 240.485.2772, jelili.ojodu@aphl.org.