Statement by Ambassador Susan E. Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, on Sickle Cell Disease World Day

Susan E. Rice
United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations 
U.S. Mission to the United Nations 
New York, NY
June 19, 2009


The United States joins the United Nations today to mark Sickle Cell Disease World Day.  Sickle cell disease is a serious public health problem and affects millions of people throughout the world.  While sickle cell disease still poses serious health risks here in the United States, it is 10 times higher in African countries. The disease contributes to a higher infant mortality rate, in fact, studies suggest that 98 percent of children born with sickle cell disease in resource-poor settings die before age five.

The United States, through the support of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, currently provides quality assurance services to 25 laboratories worldwide to address sickle cell disease and is working with partners in the international community to plan projects that will provide technical assistance in developing countries.  Last year, the United States supported a resolution at the United Nations that recognized sickle cell anemia as one of the world’s foremost genetic diseases. The resolution urged other member states to establish national programs and specialized centers for treatment.

The United States recognizes the global impact of this disease and will continue to explore ways to serve as a resource for developing countries to help reduce morbidity and mortality related to sickle cell disease.



PRN: 2009/132