20 Odisha districts in sickle cell disease elimination mission

Meanwhile, the state government has decided to extend the SCD screening programme to the rest of the districts using its own resources.
Sickle cells in human blood - both normal red blood cells and sickle-shaped cells are present. (Photo | Wikimedia Commons)
Sickle cells in human blood - both normal red blood cells and sickle-shaped cells are present. (Photo | Wikimedia Commons)

BHUBANESWAR: As many as 20 districts in Odisha have been included in the 278 districts of 17 states for implementation of the National Sickle Cell Anaemia Elimination Mission launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday.

The launch marked a crucial milestone in the government’s ongoing efforts to eliminate sickle cell disease as a public health problem by 2047, showing a long-term commitment to eradicating the disease. The districts where the programme will be implemented are Angul, Balasore, Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar, Sundargarh, Bargarh, Balangir, Boudh, Deogarh, Gajapati, Jharsuguda, Kalahandi, Kandhamal, Koraput, Malkangiri, Nabarangpur, Nuapada, Sambalpur, Subarnapur and Rayagada.

Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a chronic single gene disorder causing a debilitating systemic syndrome characterised by chronic anaemia, acute painful episodes, organ infarction and chronic organ damage and by a significant reduction in life expectancy.

The mission aims to improve the care and prospects of all SCD patients while reducing the prevalence of the disease. As part of the programme, sickle cell genetic status cards will be distributed to the beneficiaries and they will be tracked and treated. The programme targets screening people in the districts with tribal population over a period of three years and reaching a large portion of the population, promoting early diagnosis and intervention.

Meanwhile, the state government has decided to extend the SCD screening programme to the rest of the districts using its own resources. School students from Class VIII onwards, pregnant women and their husbands, and people voluntarily opting for tests, will be screened and those detected with the disease would be provided treatment. Simultaneously, awareness campaigns will be intensified in all districts.

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