All pregnant women to be screened for thalassemia free of cost in K’taka
By Express News Service | Published: 09th May 2017 02:20 AM |
BENGALURU: Separate day care centres will be set up in all district hospitals and medical colleges of the state to treat blood cell disorders. Also, all pregnant women will be screened for thalassemia for free before their second month of pregnancy.
Blood disorders would include haemophilia, thalassemia and sickle cell anaemia. A circular dated 24th April directed all directors, deans, district surgeons and blood bank medical officers to create a separate ward with an eight-bedded day care centre. District hospitals should be a minimum six-bedded and medical college hospitals a minimum eight-bedded.
Free blood transfusion will be done irrespective of the APL/BPL status. While thalassemia patients welcomed this initiative, they demanded for a national policy.
“India is thalassemia capital of the world as we have four crore carriers and more than a lakh thalassemia majors taking blood every month.
We also require costly iron chelation medicines and other supplements plus lab tests every month to stay alive,” Dr Namitha Kumar, Research Director at Centre for Health Ecologies and Technology, said at a press conference called by the Thalassemia and Sickle Cell Society of Bangalore on Monday. She is suffering from thalassemia major.
Other demands include full inclusion in the Disability Bill. At present, they do not have access to the four per cent reservation in jobs and education.
They also demand full inclusion in National Rare Disease Policy and want the government to invest in gene therapy research.