World Thalassemia Day: May 8

Every year the World Thalassemia Day is celebrated on May 8. The day is celebrated to encourage the patients suffering from Thalassemia. This year, the World Thalassemia Day is celebrated under the following theme:

Theme: Addressing Health Inequalities Across the Global Thalassemia Community

Thalassemia Disease

The disease is an inherited blood disorder that is passed from parents to children. When a person gets infected with the disease, his or her body loses the ability to produce haemoglobin. Eventually the red blood cells count reduces. Red Blood Cells are the carriers of oxygen.

The disease is most common in South Asian, African and Mediterranean countries.

Thalassemia Vaccine

Beginning at the age of two months a seven valent Conjugate Pneumococcal Vaccine should be given. At the age of twenty-four months, a 23-valent Conjugate Pneumococcal Vaccine booster should be given.

Later, Pnuemovax booster should be considered every five to ten years.

Thalassemia in India

Every year around 10,000 children are born with Thalassemia. The Thalassemia gene varies from 3% to 15% in northern India, 1% to 3% in southern India. Certain communities such as Lingayat in Karnataka, Koli’s and Agri’s in Maharashtra, Punjabis and Sindhis have higher carrier rate.

Thalassemia Bal Sewa Yojana

The second phase of Thalassemia Bal Sewa Yojana was launched by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in October 2020. It aims to provide one-time cure opportunity for Sickle cell disease and Thalassemia.

The Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation programme was launched in 2017. It is funded by Coal India CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility).

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