World Thalassaemia day
World Thalassaemia day is observed every year on 8th of May to spread awareness amongst people about this deadly disease and to focus on prevention to avoid its transmission.
The theme for this year is “Access to Safe & Effective Drugs in Thalassaemia”
Thalassaemia is a disease of the blood causing destruction (haemolysis) of the red blood cells resulting in deficiency of haemoglobin. Haemoglobin is a protein that carries oxygen in red blood cells. Because of lack of haemoglobin, the oxygen supply becomes affected and results in anaemic condition.
Thalassaemia is a genetic disease, which is inherited or passed on from parents to children. However, in order to get disease, both the parents must carry a defective gene which is called autosomal recessive. We can understand thalassaemia trait with this example, red and blue are carriers of the defective gene (thalassaemia trait) individuals. Red is thalassaemia major, blue is normal.
There are three types of Thalassaemia :
The early symptoms are growth delay, fatigue, weakness, shortness of breath and yellow discolouration of skin. Due to thalassaemia, one can also suffer from excessive iron in blood (due to blood transfusion), bone deformities, heart problems, various infections, and enlarged spleen. During early stages of thalassaemia, a person suffers from anaemia.
Since Thalassaemia is a genetic problem, it is difficult to prevent it. The best way to prevent this problem is providing genetic counselling before marriage and definitely during the pregnancy. Instead of traditional horoscope, it may be desirable to supplement genetic test (Genetic Kundli)
However, the disease can be managed by treatments such as :
A healthy lifestyle is important for everyone. A thalassaemic patient can manage this disorder by healthy lifestyle
Tips for Thalassaemia patients