Presentation and challenges in management of COVID-19 in sickle cell disease: case report

Document Type

Case Report


Paediatrics and Child Health (East Africa)


Sickle cell has predominantly been a disease of the Sub Saharan Africa. There is scanty data in Africa and none in Tanzania regarding patients with sickle cell disease infected with COVID-19 especially in the paediatric group. This is concerning because a large population of children living with sickle cell disease are found in this part of the world where scarcity of resources also prevail. This is the first paediatric case of sickle cell disease and COVID-19 reported in Tanzania; highlighting the presentation and challenges faced in management. It is also the first case in literature describing secondary infection in a child with COVID-19 and underlying sickle cell disease. Our patient was a female child of African origin with underlying sickle cell disease who had recurrent admissions. She presented with cough, fever, chest and abdominal pain and was managed for acute chest syndrome and vaso-occlusive crisis. During the second admission, she developed respiratory distress, infection with COVID-19 was confirmed and managed accordingly. However, she was re-admitted due to bilateral arm pain and physical findings were suggestive of secondary respiratory bacterial infection. She was then started on a different treatment plan. Despite challenges faced in the management of the patient, the outcome was favourable. It is important to recognize the presentation of COVID-19 in children with sickle cell disease and challenges faced in management so that the epidemiologic characteristics, spectrum of the disease and its outcomes can be understood better in the context of Sub Saharan Africa.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Pan African Medical Journal.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.