Dickerhoff, R.; Genzel-Boroviczeny, Orsolya; Kohne, E.
Haemoglobinopathies and newborn haemoglobinopathy screening in Germany.
In: Journal of clinical pathology, Vol. 62: p. 34
Germany has been an immigration country since the early
1950s. In December 2007, 6.7 million non-German citizens
lived in the country. However, the total number of citizens
with a migration background is 15–20 million, about
9 million of whom come from countries where sickle cell
disease and thalassaemias are frequent. In a country with
82 million inhabitants health authorities are not worried by
the presence of probably 1000–1500 sickle cell and 450
transfusion-dependent thalassaemia patients, and therefore
no screening or preventive measures have been taken so far
on a national scale. There are plans for a pilot project
(1 year) to screen all newborns for sickle cell disease in
obstetric hospitals in 4–5 cities with more than 20%
migrants. Funding and lack of an infrastructure to provide
counselling are major problems.