Sickle Cell Disease

CHARTA - a health consortium

2009 Tutu Fellow Dr Julie Makani has launched CHARTA - a Consortium for Health, Advocacy, Research and Training in Africa. It aims to utilize data science in public health and genomics in Africa to address non-communicable diseases that include sickle cell disease, cancers, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. These are responsible for over a third of the disease burden In Africa.

CHARTA will use public health data sets to describe the epidemiology of health and disease at national level as well as the genomic epidemiology of human genome, hematology/immunology profiles, and sickle cell disease. Regarding sickle cell disease, she hopes this research will provide the basis for future translation of health and research knowledge into a gene-based therapy. The consortium works with up to ten sectors and 16 disciplines or specialties at national, regional and continental level, reaching 15 countries directly and 54 countries indirectly. The overall aim is to improve health and research by national governments in a manner that Is sustainable and will attract further investment from public and private sector.

Coordinating for CHARTA is being done by the Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS) in Tanzania, where Julie is an Associate Professor in the Department of Haematology and Blood Transfusion.