Dr Akshat Jain named Medical Director for Sickle Cell Disease in California

Indian American physician Dr Akshat Jain, a past presidential awardee for medical services by AAPI,

California Senate and Nassau County Executive office in New York was announced as the Medical

Director for the Pediatric and Young Adult program for Sickle Cell Disease and Hemostasis Thrombosis at prestigious Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital in California.

Dr. Jain a renowned international hematologist and oncologist, will be leading a program that cares for

over 1000 children and young adults for various blood related illness, as the director of a Center of

Excellence, which follows a Medical Home Model of care. Most notable amongst the disease that Jain’s

team is going to be caring for is Sickle Cell Anemia, which is a painful disease of the red blood cells that

leads to lifelong anemia, right born birth and many times life-threatening consequences that kill

children. Dr Jain and his team have constantly beat national metrics of success for sickle cell outcomes

and so far, has cured over a dozen children with sickle cell disease.

What is Sickle Cell Disease and India’s new priority: The government of India has identified sickle cell

disease as a sole health problem in 2023, with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare announcing the

the ambitious goal of sickle eradication in India by 2047.

 More than 250 million people worldwide carry the gene responsible for sickle cell disease. Each year

about 300,000 infants are born with major hemoglobin disease worldwide and about 50-90% of these

children die before their 5th birthday in Africa due to complications of sickle cell anemia.

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SICKLE CELL DISEASE AROUND THE WORLD (https://www.notaloneinsicklecell.com/Global-Impact-Of-SCD/)

Most prevalent in India and Africa across the world, while sickle cell anemia programs focus on African

patients with sickle cell disease especially in the west for children and adults who have migrated, the

children’s and families with sickle cell anemia in India find themselves in a very painful spot. No major

national registry, medical sickle cell training, newborn screening, affordable sickle cell medications or

centers of excellence for sickle cell disease are available in India. Its prevalence is described as high

among tribal communities with regionally higher prevalence in several non-tribal yet socially

disadvantaged population groups such as other backward classes and scheduled castes.

While the current infrastructure for medical training, curriculum, timely testing, genetic counseling,

cure and therapies for sickle cell disease for the Indian subcontinent is painfully absent, it is expected

that with international collaborations and the successful creation of sickle cell center of excellence alike

the one Dr. Jain has created and runs, would one day be a reality and solve the problem for death and

pain from such a severe lifelong genetic disorder.

Dr. Jain. has worked to change that, with efforts focused on tribal belts of Rajasthan and Gujarat by

providing medical education, free consultation and cutting-edge medications from the United States so

the status of the care for these children and adults with sickle cell disease can change.

Image courtesy of Images Provided

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