Upcoming Project: Role of Vitamin D3 in

the Management of Sickle Cell Disease (SCD)

50-75% of all children born with sickle cell disease will not live to see their fifth birthday because of death from complications of the disease

Treating sickle cell disease requires a lot of resources. Currently, the only treatments are gene therapy and bone marrow transplant, and these are out of reach to children in developing countries like Nigeria due to the dearth of resources and manpower in these countries to set up treatment centers.

Although there are routine medications (hydroxyurea, pain relievers, antibiotics, and antimalarials) available for some aspects of management, they are either not efficacious enough or have various possible side effects, and doctors in remote areas are thus limited in managing this disease.

Furthermore, people in remote areas (where there is little to no access to good healthcare and poor living standards) tend to have more crises and complications.

We are building on the existing knowledge of vitamin D3 to examine its effect in children with sickle cell disease, who typically have ischemia, immune deficiency, and reduced bone density.

Vitamin D3

Vitamin D is generally known for its role in maintaining bones and teeth. The importance of this nutrient has been found over time to be more than that because vitamin D controls the expression of over 200 genes in the body, and nearly EVERY tissue in the body has a vitamin D receptor, including the immune system, skin, thyroid, stomach, colon, pancreas, and more. This has shown its importance in almost all systems of the body, including the immune system, nervous and endocrine systems, digestive system, cardiovascular system, integumentary system, and – as we all know – the skeletal system.

Individuals with SCD suffer global deficits in energy and nutrient intake, with increased catabolism that ultimately causes multiple macro‐ and micro‐nutritional deficiencies. Among the micronutrient deficiencies, vitamin D deficiency has been found to be common in people with SCD, regardless of age and season. The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency among individuals with SCD ranges from 33% to 100%.

Our Aim

We wish to explore the administration of vitamin D3 as a possible, safe, and cost-effective addition for the management of sickle cell disease in Nigeria and other African countries, using the patients of three hospitals – Massey Street Children’s Hospital, General Hospital in Ifako Ijaye, and General Hospital in Isolo, all in Lagos State, Nigeria – as a case study.

The budget for the research project is attached here…

Vitamin D3 Research, Lagos State

Solomon Adomi (Head of Research, Brain and Body Foundation) talks about BBF’s plans for Vitamin D research in Lagos State, and how it would be beneficial to individuals living with SCD.

Solomon Adomi (Head of Research, Brain and Body Foundation) takes us on a tour around Lagos State General Hospital, Ifako Ijaye, before meeting with Dr. Oluwabiyi.

Solomon Adomi (Head of Research, Brain and Body Foundation) narrates the work done so far with the Hospitals conducting the research. Also, he gives an account of his meeting with Dr. Olatunji.

Solomon Adomi (Head of Research, Brain and Body Foundation) alongside Dr. Oluwabiyi at the Lagos State General Hospital, Ifako Ijaye, Lagos, Nigeria

Images of the General Hospital, Ifako Ijaye, Lagos, Nigeria

Solomon Adomi (Head of Research, Brain and Body Foundation) alongside Dr. Olutekunbi and Dr. Achonu at the Massey Street Children Hospital, Lagos Island, Lagos, Nigeria.

Dr. Olutekunbi talks about the Vitamin D research

Images of the Massey Street Children Hospital

Images of General Hospital, Isolo, Lagos State, Nigeria

Solomon Adomi (Head of Research, Brain and Body Foundation) along with officials at the Clina-Lancet Laboratory, Lagos, Nigeria.