Research Topic: Sickle Cell Disease in Saudi Arabia
Description of Topic
Sickle cell disease refers to a group of disorders occurring in the red blood cells characterized by dysfunction of hemoglobin, which is a molecule in the red blood cells responsible for delivering oxygen to cells around the body. The resultant low oxygen circulation in the body leads to fatalities. Sickle cell disease is common in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, particularly in the eastern region. Increased prevalence and incidence of the disease have been associated with decreased life expectancy. It is also associated with economic challenges given the significant finances channeled to management and treatment. A major causal factor for the disease in Saudi Arabia is the spread of the Indus Valley Harappa culture from surrounding nations such as Bahrain and Oman (Jastaniah, 2011). There is a surge in intermarriages between people sharing a common ancestry, an issue that has forced the Saudi Arabian government to come up with policies regulating the same.
Reason for Interest in The Topic
Sickle cell disease spreads rampantly and is accompanied by fatalities, economic shortcomings, and social challenges. Interest in the topic draws from the need to determine social causes and impacts of the disease, solutions or interventions that can help to address the disease, as well as policies that can be formulated and implemented to help in the reduction of incidence and occurrence of the disease.
What Is Unknown About the Topic
Although sickle cell disease is widespread in Saudi Arabia and the rest of the world, there are several aspects that remain unknown about the disease. One of these aspects is the natural history of the disease (Charache, 1972). Another unknown aspect is the impact of modern medical and public health methods on the resultant morbidity and mortality being witnessed not only in Saudi Arabia but globally.
Charache, S. (1972). Sickle-cell anemia: The known and the unknown. Annals of Internal Medicine, 77(1), 148-149. https://doi.org/10.7326/0003-4819-77-1-148
Jastaniah W. (2011). Epidemiology of sickle cell disease in Saudi Arabia. Annals of Saudi medicine, 31(3), 289–293. https://doi.org/10.4103/0256-4947.81540