‘India has largest number of kids with Thalassemia Major’

New Delhi, August 18

India has the biggest variety of kids with Thalassemia Major who want common blood transfusion and 10,000-15,000 kids having the blood dysfunction are born yearly within the nation, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan stated on Tuesday.

Lauding the work of the Indian Red Cross Society on the inauguration of a Thalassemia Screening and Counselling Centre at its National Headquarters Blood Bank right here, the minister stated such initiatives “will enable us in educating the common people on prevention of this disease”.

He stated there are round 270 million Thalassemia sufferers on this planet.

“India has the biggest variety of kids with Thalassemia Major on this planet, about 1 to 1.5 lakh, and about 10,000-15,000 kids having Thalassemia Major are born yearly.

“The only cure available for such children is bone marrow transplantation (BMT). However, BMT is difficult and not affordable by the parents of all these children. Therefore, the mainstay of treatment is repeated blood transfusions, followed by regular iron chelation therapy to remove the excessive iron overload, consequent to the multiple blood transfusions,” he was quoted as saying in a press release.

Vardhan stated this new initiative of IRCS will present a golden alternative to manage ample remedy to these affected enabling them lead a greater life and stopping the start of youngsters affected with hemoglobinopathies, by service screening, genetic counselling and prenatal prognosis.

“This programme will support in prevention of start of youngsters affected with hemoglobinopathies, by well-planned screening programmes, info dissemination and consciousness era actions and assist avert the upcoming risk of this genetic dysfunction turning into a serious well being drawback.

“With these progressive initiatives, we shall soon be able to achieve the New India being envisioned by the prime minister by 2022,” he stated.

Haemoglobinopathies reminiscent of Thalassemia and sickle cell illness are inherited problems of pink blood cells and are preventable. These sicknesses are persistent, life impairing and in some circumstances, life threatening and impose a heavy emotional and monetary burden on households.

In India, Thalassemia Major and the extreme type of Thalassemia Intermedia (TI) represent the foremost burden of illness. Both are generally managed by common lifelong blood transfusions and common iron chelation, the assertion stated.

These Thalassemia syndromes are attributable to inheritance of irregular (beta) Thalassemia genes from each mother and father or irregular beta-Thalassemia gene from one mum or dad and irregular variant haemoglobin gene (HbE, HbD) from the opposite mum or dad, it stated. — PTI PLB


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