Skip to Main ContentSkip to Footer

Stroke Prevention Program in Nigeria


For over a decade Dr. Michael DeBaun, Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine, has led an effort to prevent strokes in children with sickle cell disease in Nigeria. Our Center’s collaborative effort with pediatricians and hematologists in northern Nigeria has screened over 10,000 children with sickle cell disease at high risk for strokes.

The program's purchase of 19 transcranial Doppler machines and training in their use was paid primarily with funds donated to Vanderbilt University Medical Center. It also helped educate local pediatricians to treat high-risk children with hydroxyurea, a medication made in Nigeria and provided below cost to Nigerian hospitals.

Through this concerted effort, the Nigerian state governments of Kano, Katsina and Kaduna have provided free stroke screening and hydroxyurea for children identified at high risk within a year of a positive stroke screening test.

Dr. DeBaun and other members of the Vanderbilt team including Drs. Lori Jordan (Associate Professor of Neurology and Pediatrics), Muktar Aliyu (Associate Professor of Medicine), Ed Trevethan (Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine) and Adetola Kassim (Professor of Medicine) have continued expanding the reach of this program. Although successful in preventing strokes in hundreds of Nigerian children, the program has only screened a fraction of the estimated 40,000 children with sickle cell disease living in the three-state region.

Stanford Medicine Alumni Awards 2019: Michael DeBaun

The Stanford Medicine Alumni Association honors Dr. Michael Rutledge DeBaun with the J.E. Wallace Sterling Lifetime Achievement Award in Medicine.

Meet the Team

Michael R. DeBaun

Michael R. DeBaunMD, MPH

    Pediatric Hematology/Oncology
Lori C. Jordan

Lori C. JordanPhD, MD

    Pediatric Neurology, Vascular Neurology
Adetola A. Kassim

Adetola A. KassimMD

    Bone Marrow Transplant, Hematologic Cancer, Hematology, Hematology/Oncology, Stem Cell Transplant
Muktar Aliyu

Muktar AliyuMBBS, MPH, DrPH

    Associate Professor of Medicine