Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a group of inherited blood disorders that result in a variety of acute illnesses, ultimately leading to a high risk of organ dysfunction and a shortened life expectancy. In this interview, Kenneth Ataga, MBBS, of the UNC School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, NC, explores the complications surrounding current SCD treatments. Dr Ataga outlines the importance of developing safe, effective and affordable treatments for SCD. Although bone marrow transplants and gene therapy have the potential to be curative, these are expensive and are thus inaccessible to individuals in developing areas. Thus, there is hope that treatments can be improved upon in terms of affordability and accessibility, improving the quality of life and prolonging life expectancy for all patients. This video was recorded at the British Society for Haematology (BSH) 2018 Annual Meeting, in Liverpool, UK.