Primary Prevention of Stroke in Children With Sickle Cell Anaemia in Nigeria: Community vs Teaching Hospital

About the study

The overall goal of this feasibility study is to establish a standard of care stroke prevention program for children with sickle cell anemia in a community hospital by task shifting stroke detection and transcranial Doppler ultrasound screening to nurses. In Nigeria, approximately 150,000 children with sickle cell anemia (SCA) are born annually, accounting for more than half of the total births with SCA worldwide. In comparison, only 1,700 children with SCA are born in the United States annually. An estimated 11% of unscreened and untreated children at increase of strokes with SCA will have at least one stroke by 17 years of age. In high-income countries, evidence-based practices (EBP) for primary stroke prevention in children with SCA involves screening for abnormal transcranial Doppler ultrasound (TCD) velocity (>200cm/s) coupled with regular blood transfusion therapy for at least one year followed by treatment with hydroxyurea is considered standard care. This strategy decreases the risk of stroke by 92%. Due to safety and availability, regular blood transfusion is not a viable option for primary stroke prevention in most low-income settings, including Nigeria, where ~50% of the 300,000 children with SCA are born. Among each birth cohort, 15,000 children will have stroke annually in Nigeria. The American Society of Hematology (ASH) Central Nervous System Guidelines recommends moderate dose hydroxyurea (20mg/kg) to children with SCA with abnormal TCD measurements, living in resource-constrained settings where regular blood transfusions are not readily available. Our team has demonstrated in a previous trial the feasibility of primary stroke prevention with hydroxyurea in Kano, Nigeria. In 2016, as part of capacity building objective of Stroke Prevention Trial in Nigeria (1R01NS094041-SPRING) at Barau Dikko Teaching Hospital in Kaduna, TCD screening was adopted as standard of care. Before the trial, no TCD screening was done at our trial site in Kaduna. Now, as standard care, physicians at the teaching hospital do TCD screening, however, only 5.4% (1,101/20,040) of the eligible children with SCA living in Kaduna, Nigeria were reached. Clearly, for there to be an appreciable impact on decreasing the stroke rates in children with SCA living in Nigeria and elsewhere, applying the ASH guidelines and a better implementation strategy to increase the TCD reach (proportion of children eligible for TCD screening that are screened) is necessary. Therefore, objective of this physician-mentored application is to conduct an Effectiveness-Implementation Feasibility Trial is to test the test the hypothesis that the task-shifted site for primary stroke prevention team in a community hospital will have a non-inferior effectiveness in identifying children with abnormal TCD measurements when compared to primary stroke prevention team in a teaching hospital in Kaduna, Nigeria. the investigators will conduct i) a needs assessment at the community hospital to identify barriers and facilitators to the intervention, ii) Build capacity for stroke detection and TCD screening and iii) Compare the effectiveness of a physician-based stroke prevention program in a teaching hospital to a task-shifted stroke prevention in a community hospital.

Study point of contact

Halima Bello-Manga, MBBS,MPH
[email protected]
Bilya M Sani
[email protected]


2 Years - 16 Years


Not Applicable

Study type






participation requirements

Children with diagnosis of SCA (HbSS or HbSβthal0)
2-16 years receiving care at both YDMH (community hospital) and BDTH (teaching hospital).
No previous stroke

participation restrictions

Children with SCA younger than 2 years or older than 16
Children with stroke

2) Children already on Hydroxyurea

Last updated 2022-06-24