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Union Health Secretary Emphasizes Timely Detection and Prevention of Thalassemia on International Thalassemia Day

New Delhi: Apurva Chandra, Secretary of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, underscored the critical importance of timely detection and prevention in combating Thalassemia, a hereditary blood disorder. Speaking at an event commemorating International Thalassemia Day, Chandra emphasized that early prevention is key to reducing the burden of this disease.

Addressing the gathering, Chandra highlighted that there are nearly 1 lakh Thalassemia patients in India, with approximately 10,000 new cases reported annually. He stressed the urgency of proactive intervention facilitated by timely detection through screening initiatives.

Chandra also emphasized the imperative of raising awareness about Thalassemia, noting that many people remain unaware of the disease and its prevention methods. In a significant move toward enhancing awareness, he unveiled a collaborative video produced with the Indian Association of Pediatrics and Thalassemics India, aimed at promoting effective prevention measures and optimal treatment for Thalassemia.

Furthermore, Chandra advocated for the inclusion of compulsory Thalassemia testing in existing reproductive and child health (RCH) programs under the National Health Mission (NHM) as a means to reduce the prevalence of the disease. He highlighted that while some states have already incorporated Thalassemia testing into their public health programs, efforts will be made to encourage other states to adopt and expand screening and testing initiatives for Thalassemia.

Thalassemia, characterized by reduced hemoglobin levels in the body due to an inherited genetic mutation, poses significant health challenges. International Thalassemia Day, observed annually, serves as a crucial platform to raise awareness, sensitize stakeholders, promote early detection, and ensure quality care for individuals affected by Thalassemia. This year’s theme, “Empowering Lives, Embracing Progress: Equitable and Accessible Thalassemia Treatment for All,” reflects the collective commitment to universal access to comprehensive Thalassemia care.

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