Nagpur: IPS officer organises thalassemia, sickle-cell anaemia detection camp

The IPS officer stated that instead of matching a person's horoscope, it is more crucial to match genetic profiles. The prevalence of thalassemia and sickle-cell anaemia is higher in Nagpur and region of central India.

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The Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Nagpur, Maharashtra, had organised a free health check-up for the 800 policemen and their families on Sunday, September 30

Thalassemia is not treatable but can be managed only through regular blood transfusions.Genetically patents are the carriers of both the diseases.

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While speaking to My Medical Mantra IPS officer and DCP of Zone 5 Nagpur, Maharashtra, Harssh A Poddar, said, “During the festive season, the senior officers gave sweets to the junior officer and the constabulary staff. But this time I thought of giving a ‘Suraksha Kavach’ to all the staff. That is why, during the festival of Ganeshotsav we launched this campaign.”

Poddar adds, “In thalassemia and sickle-cell anaemia, parents are the genetically carriers of the disease. So, rather than matching the horoscope, people should match their genetic profile.”

In 2017, so far, the number of thalassemia patients in Maharashtra has recorded to 6,071, while it was 3,640 in 2012.

Poddar is in-charge of six police stations under him. 800 policemen work with him, when their families are included, the total number of the police men and their families adds up to around 3,000 plus people. So far, they have carried out thalassemia and sickle-cell detection in three police stations.

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Poddar further says, “Out of 6 police stations under my area, we have completed testing of 3 police stations. In the first police station, out of the sample size of 100, we have found that the 15 samples were positive. This means that parents are carriers of thalassemia and sickle-cell anaemia. But, they had no active symptoms of this condition.”

This kind of campaigns will help raise local awareness among the people.

What is thalassaemia?

Thalassaemia is an inherited blood disorder in which the body makes an abnormal form of haemoglobin. Haemoglobin is the protein molecule in red blood cells that carries oxygen.

The disorder results in excessive destruction of red blood cells, which leads to anaemia. Anaemia is a condition in which your body doesn’t have enough normal, healthy red blood cells.

Thalassaemia is inherited, meaning that at least one of your parents must be a carrier of the disease. It’s caused by either a genetic mutation or a deletion of certain key gene fragments.

Thalassaemia minor is a less serious form of the disorder. There are two main forms of thalassemia that are more serious. In alpha thalassemia, at least one of the alpha globin genes has a mutation or abnormality. In beta thalassemia, the beta globin genes are affected.

Each of these forms of thalassaemia has different subtypes. The exact form you have will affect the severity of your symptoms and your outlook.