Timely Detection and Prevention Key to Combating Thalassemia

India’s fight against Thalassemia received a renewed push on International Thalassemia Day. The Secretary of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW), emphasized the importance of early detection and prevention as crucial strategies to tackle this inherited blood disorder. A press release was issued on May 8, 2024.

Highlighting the prevalence of Thalassemia, with nearly 1 lakh existing cases and 10,000 new ones annually, the Secretary, MOHFW stressed on proactive intervention through timely detection via screening programs. He called for nationwide awareness campaigns in collaboration with all stakeholders.

A significant step towards this goal involved the launch of a public awareness video created in collaboration with the Indian Association of Pediatrics and Thalassemics India.

Strengthening Existing Programs

  • The Health Secretary advocated for including mandatory Thalassemia testing within the National Health Mission’s (NHM) existing reproductive and child health (RCH) programs.
  • This approach, already adopted by some states, has the potential to significantly reduce disease prevalence.

Celebrated annually, International Thalassemia Day serves as a platform to:

  • Promote disease prevention
  • Raise public awareness
  • Encourage early detection
  • Advocate for accessible Thalassemia treatment

This year’s theme, “Empowering Lives, Embracing Progress: Equitable and Accessible Thalassemia Treatment for All“. It underscores the collective goal of ensuring comprehensive Thalassemia care for everyone.