Consortium for Universal Rh disease Elimination (CURhE)
Every year hundreds of thousands of babies, especially across Africa and Asia, are injured 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+ 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. If these women do not know their blood group and go without the necessary immunizations, the health of countless babies is compromised. It is CURhE’s mission to stop this tragic and unnecessary human loss.
CURhE. Rh disease can be Eliminated. Everywhere.
Global implementation of well-documented prevention methods of Rh disease in order to reduce childhood neurological burden and perinatal deaths.
- For every woman to know her blood type
- For every Rh-negative woman to have unfettered prenatal access to counseling and prophylaxis
- For the cost of Rh disease prevention to be embedded in existing prenatal and peripartum care, not to exceed $1 pp (adjusted to national population)
CURhE was founded by three of the most prominent experts on Rh disease.
- Dr. Alvin Zipursky, Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada
- Dr. Vinod Bhutani, Stanford University School of Medicine in Palo Alto, California
- Dr. Giuseppe Buonocore, University of Siena in Siena, Italy
Other Founding Members
Our experts are joined by other founding members from the private sector.
- Kedrion Biopharma in Tuscany, Italy (produces anti-D prophylactics, including the most widely known, RhoGAM)
- Eldon Biologicals in Copenhagen, Denmark (developed simple blood-typing technology that gives quick and accurate results even in isolated locations)
- Capnia, Inc. in Redwood City, California (specializes in innovative diagnostic devices)
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.
Richard Hendrick: firstname.lastname@example.org
Insights and Inspiration
The Girl Effect – an organization committed to helping girls reach their full potential and ending the cycle of poverty – is an inspiring example for us as we fight to eliminate Rh disease throughout the world. Its members have adopted a public health approach and an attitude about change that we wish to emulate.