Every year hundreds of thousands of babies, especially across Africa and Asia, are damaged or die of “Rh disease”, because their mothers were not given one or two simple injections just before or after giving birth.
We are committed to ending this human disaster. We are CURhE, the Consortium for Universal Rh-disease Elimination.
Rh disease is caused by a calamitous mismatch of blood types. When a woman with “Rh Negative” blood becomes pregnant by a man who is “Rh Positive”, the fetus might also be Rh Positive. This can stimulate the mother’s immune system to produce defenses against what it takes to be “invaders”, the baby’s Rh-positive red blood cells. The first such pregnancy usually has no complications, since the mother’s immune responses take some time to develop, but subsequent pregnancies are very likely to end with severe consequences: stillbirth, newborn death, severe jaundice, brain damage. Many newborns will require extensive intervention to survive. Rh disease has been virtually eliminated in “wealthier” nations, thanks to a simple and inexpensive prophylactic “immunization” developed almost fifty years ago
But the tragedy continues in much of Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe, simply because of a lack of awareness, education, and/or infrastructure. Millions of babies have died in these countries – needlessly. In Nigeria alone, each year over 300,000 women are at risk; in India, 985,000. It is CURhE’s mission to stop this tragic and unnecessary human loss.
The Consortium is an international collaboration of academic research, medical practice, public health advocacy and industry know-how. It was founded by three of the world’s prominent experts on Rh disease, Dr. Alvin Zipursky, from Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada; Dr. Vinod Bhutani, Professor of Pediatrics (Neonatology), Stanford University School of Medicine in Palo Alto, California, USA; and Dr. Giuseppe Buonocore, Professor of Pediatrics, University of Siena in Italy. These experts are joined by three other founding members from the private sector: Kedrion Biopharma, based in Tuscany, Italy; Eldon Biologicals of Copenhagen, Denmark; and Capnia, Inc., Redwood City, California, USA. Drs. Zipursky and Bhutani are Co-Directors of the Consortium. The knowledge, talent and resources of this coalition will allow accurate identification of the Rh disease problem in various countries, effective collaboration with local government and health officials, creative awareness campaigns, and affordable delivery of the needed prophylactic treatment.
CURhE. Rh disease can be Eliminated. Everywhere.
∗ Kedrion produces anti-D prophylactics, including the most widely known, RhoGAM. Eldon has developed a simple blood-typing technology that gives quick and accurate results even in isolated locations. Capnia specializes in innovative diagnostic devices.