There is a steep rise in the number of Thalassemia patients in Maharashtra. In 2017, so far, the number of Thalassemia patients in Maharashtra has recorded to 6071, while it was 3,640 in 2012. Maharashtra Health Minister, Dr Deepak Sawant gave this information in the on-going assembly session.
According to experts, the number can be cumulative addition since 2012. It could mean more people are living with Thalassemia now. Considering the severity of the disease, it becomes more important to extend the treatment facility for the disease at the ground level.
Thalassemia is passed on to children from parents. It is a blood disease where there is increased destruction (hemolysis) of the red cells. There are various severities of the disease from thalassemia major – the severe form to thalassemia minor an asymptomatic carrier state. In Thalassemia, there is anemia – a state where hemoglobin in the blood is less than the normal level. With the help of advances in medical science, thalassemia patients can live relatively normal life.
Dr Sawant assured the assembly that there will be no shortage of the medication for Thalassemia. He also announced that the areas, where Thalassemia is more prevalent, will be identified and a committee, including a local body representative and medical officers will be formed.
According to a study published in Indian Paediatrics, every year approximately 100,000 children with Thalassemia Major are born worldwide, of which approximately 10,000 are born in India. Also, in India, many cases remain unreported as well.
According to Dr Mamta Manglani, Director of Comprehensive Thalassemia Care, Pediatric Hematology-Oncology & BMT Centre, “We need to work on the community level to prevent this disease.” She also emphasised on the availability of bone marrow transplant facilities in the public sector. “If a suitable bone marrow donor is available, then Thalassemia can be cured. There is a limited facility of the procedure in the public sector. We need to extend it,” Dr Manglani said.
What is Thalassemia
In Thalassemia, the level of heamoglobin in the blood is less than the normal level
Red cells rapidly break down, process is called hemolysis
The patients have severe anemia
Regular blood transfusions are essential for the treatment