Special on World Thalassemia Day: Gujarat became a role model by doing excellent work in eradication of Thalassemia


Ahmedabad, 7th May (Hindustan Times). World Thalassemia Day is celebrated on 8th May all over the world. Thalassemia is an incurable and hereditary blood defect related disease. It has a direct effect on the formation of hemoglobin in the body. Thalassemia Day is celebrated only to make people aware of this dreaded disease. The state government has been doing excellent work for the last 15 years to eradicate Thalassemia disease from the root in Gujarat. By making many innovations, Gujarat has become a role model for other states.

Under this campaign, the state government has started thalassemia test for pregnant women in all government hospitals. So far about 7 lakh pregnant women have been screened for thalassemia. This process has so far prevented the birth of 500 pregnant thalassemia children. The Government of Gujarat has also done thalassemia screening at three levels for thalassemia prevention. With the help of the Central Government’s National Health Mission and various charitable organizations, the state government has started thalassemia screening of students at the university level itself. Vigilant government has implemented community screening scheme.

Every year 2 to 3 lakh people are screened for Thalassemia in Gujarat. Till now more than 40 lakh people have been screened for Thalassemia. Many organizations like Red Cross Society, Thalassemia Jagriti Foundation and Thalassemia Gujarat along with the Government of Gujarat are working to eradicate this epidemic. Apart from this, children with thalassemia require 15 to 60 bottles of blood annually. The Government of Gujarat runs a grand campaign of blood donation in the entire state with the help of various organizations. Gujarat is also leading in the matter of blood donation in the country.

what is thalassemia disease

Thalassemia is a genetic disease. After suffering from this disease, the body stops making sufficient amount of blood. The bone marrow of a person with thalassemia cannot convert iron into hemoglobin. Due to this, other parts of the body do not get sufficient amount of oxygen. Due to this, the efficiency of the components of the body decreases. Due to the weakness of the components of the body of a person suffering from thalassemia, many types of diseases afflict the body.

types of thalassemia

According to Thalassemia Jagruti Foundation, Thalassemia is generally of two types, Thalassemia Minor and Thalassemia Major. If one of the parents has a chromosomal defect, the child may have thalassemia minor. Thalassemia major can occur if both parents have a chromosome defect. Thalassemia minor is also called thalassemia carrier or thalassemia carrier. About 4 to 5 crore people in India are thalassemia carriers, and 8 out of 10 people are not even aware that they are thalassemia carriers.

There is no permanent cure for thalassemia major except bone marrow transplant, says Dr. Anil Khatri, chairman of the Hemoglobinopathy Committee of the Gujarat branch of the Indian Red Cross Society. To eradicate thalassemia from the root, everyone should be tested for thalassemia minor before marriage or pregnancy. Minor should not marry minor. If the marriage takes place unknowingly, then the unborn child should be examined. Legal abortion is mandatory if the baby is of an older age.

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