World Thalassaemia Day: Over 1 lakh patients in India die before they turn 20

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World Thalassaemia Day: India amongst the worst affected nations
World Thalassaemia Day: India amongst the worst affected nations

New Delhi : India has been ranked number 1 on the list of countries worst affected by Thalassaemia. According to a report, over 1 lakh people die in country every year even before they turn 20 due to lack of treatment.

Amid lack of treatment facilities, people suffering from thalassemia are unknowingly transmitting the disease to their children. Every year more than 10,000 children take birth on this genetic disorder.

"Thalassemia is an inherited condition which is carried in the genes and passed on from parents to children. One of the major types of thalassemia, Beta thalassemia, happens when the gene that controls the production of a protein called beta globin becomes defective. The rising number of thalassemic children is posing a threat on the public health of our country. Lack of awareness of the problem, failure in planning, no provisions for prevention and inadequate treatment leading to premature death among the affected children are the leading causes for the crisis", ANI news agency quoted Dr. Manjeetha Nath Das, Consultant Internal Medicine, Columbia Asia Hospital, Gurugram.

Red blood cells are killed in major quantity in thalassemia patients, leading to anemia, in which the body does not produce enough normal healthy blood cells.

Children with mild thalassemia do not show any major symptoms.

"Children who have mild thalassemia may feel tired or irritable, have shortness of breath, feel dizzy or lightheaded, and have pale skin, lips or nail beds compared to their normal colour. In more severe cases, they may also have heart palpitations, jaundice, enlarged liver or spleen, enlarged bones, mainly in the cheeks and forehead, and slowed growth which is caused by the late onset of puberty caused by anemia. If children are not diagnosed and treated in time, thalassemia may play a part in other health problems such as heart diseases, infections and weakness, and brittle bones", he said.