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Abnormal Haemoglobins in Africa: A Symposium Organized by the Council for International Organization of Medical Sciences Established Under the Joint Auspices of UNESCO & WHO

William R. Best, MD
JAMA. 1965;194(9):1027. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03090220083043.
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In this symposium, the subjects discussed included hemoglobinopathies, thalassemia, and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiencies as they occur throughout the world, with particular emphasis on Africa. About 75% of the 38 participants are based in Africa, and their investigations represent a high level of sophistication.

There is less redundancy than is found in many symposia; but, as is often the case, the individual papers do not readily combine into a comprehensive and cohesive whole. Nonetheless, this will be a valuable reference in this field, for it contains thoughtful, well-documented reviews as well as primary reports of interest. Biochemistry, pathology, clinical features, laboratory methods, and genetics are considered.

The evidence that protection against falciparum malaria in younger age groups tends to maintain the gene for S hemoglobin in African populations is strong indeed; and there is suggestive but less convincing evidence that this same disease is responsible for the persistence of genes for


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