Patients with sickle cell disease (SCD), an inherited haemoglobinopathy, have increased risk of malaria, at least in part due to impaired splenic function. Infection with Plasmodium falciparum in SCD patients can trigger painful vaso-occlusive crisis, increase the severity of anaemia, and contribute to early childhood mortality.
Malaria is among the leading cause of infection in individuals with sickle cell disease (SCD) living in sub-Saharan Africa, including Tanzania. However, after 2005 the standard treatment guidelines (STGs) on malaria chemoprevention for SCD patients were non-existent, and at present no medicine is recommended for SCD patients. Since several anti-malarials have been approved for the treatment of malaria in Tanzania, it is important to establish if there is a continued use of chemoprevention against malaria among SCD children.