Thalassemia Bal Sewa Yojana: Second Phase launched

Published: October 15, 2020

On October 14, 2020, the Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan launched second phase of Thalassemia Bal Sewa Yojana. The scheme was launched for the Thalassemia patients.

About Thalassemia Bal Sewa Yojana

The scheme aims to provide one-time cure for Haemoglobinopathies such as sickle cell disease and Thalassaemia for patients who have matched family donors. It is funded by the Coal India Corporate Social Responsibility programme called the “Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation Programme”. It provides financial assistance to more than 200 patients by providing Rs 10 lakhs per HSCT.

The person whose family income is less than Rs 20,000 per month are eligible for financial assistance. Under second phase, the transplant centres are to be established in four health centres. The centres should have performed at least five bone marrow transplants in a year.

The only cure for Thalassemia is bone marrow transplant that costs more than Rs 22 to Rs 25 lakhs. Thus, the Thalassemia Bal Sewa Yojana was launched to provide financial assistance. It is estimated that more than 10,000 to 12,000 children in India are born with Thalassemia in a year.

About Thalassemia

It is a blood disorder that creates less haemoglobin than normal body. It reduces the ability of Red Blood Cells to carry oxygen. It can lead to anaemia.

Thalassemia in India

Currently there is no prevention and control programme at national level. There are more than 40 million Thalassemia carriers in India and is thus referred to “Thalassemia Capital of the World”

Challenges

There is no cure for Thalassemia other than Bone Marrow Transplant. Most of the patients in India cannot afford to these treatments. Currently, the health care to Thalassemia is provided only by private companies. The Government of India has to frame a strong policy on Thalassemia.

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