May 9
2020

World Thalassemia Day (May 08)

Written by Tabinda | posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Annually on May 8, the world observes and commemorates “World Thalassemia Day”. This day is celebrated to pay tribute to the undying spirits of the thalassemia patients. Thalassemia is the fastest growing genetic disease in the world. The objective of observing world Thalassemia Day is to create awareness about this critical affliction, the preventive measures to avoid transmission, supporting the patients to lead a normal life and encouraging the masses to donate blood for the cause.  The World Thalassemia Day 2020 theme is ‘’the dawning of a new era for thalassemia: Time for a global effort to make novel therapies accessible and affordable to patients’.

Thalassemia:

Thalassemia is an autosomal, hemolytic disorder which gets genetically transmitted from parents to their offspring. It is caused due to genetic mutation or a deletion of certain key fragments in the genetic code, which in turn hinders the production of haemoglobin and thus incapacitating the smooth functioning of the red blood cells- whose function is to carry oxygen throughout the body by forming ox- haemoglobin in the body.

Complications caused by Thalassemia:

Thalassemia causes anemia along with a train of complications like;

  • cardiovascular disorder
  • palpitation
  • Fatigue
  • bone deformities
  • jaundice
  • enlarged liver
  • iron superabundance
  • retarded growth in children
  • delayed puberty

Thalassemia is mostly among children of age group one and two years.

Types of thalassemia:

There are different types of thalassemia depending on the severity of the ailment trait, minor, intermedia, or major (alpha, beta, minor)

Alpha Thalassemia

It develops when the body is incapable of producing alpha globin. There are two subcategories of alpha Thalassemia: hemoglobin H disease and hydropsfetalis. This disorder often leads to an anomaly in the bones. The cheekbones, forehead, and jaw may grow abnormally.

Beta thalassemia

It develops when one’s body is unable to produce beta globin. It has two critical subcategories: thalassemia major (Cooley’s anemia) and thalassemia intermedia. Thalassemia major is the most critical form of beta thalassemia which develops when beta globin genes are missing. The symptoms of thalassemia major generally show up before a baby’s second birthday. It is often fatal as it causes severe anaemia.

Minor Thalassemia

It often goes undetected until it is confirmed by certain blood test reports. Sometimes lack of noticeable symptoms can make thalassemia minor difficult to diagnose.

Treatment of thalassemia:

The treatment of thalassemia includes;

  • blood transfusion
  • iron chelation therapy
  • blood and bone marrow stem cell transplantation along with vitamin B supplements to regulate the level of hemoglobin in the blood.

Since thalassemia is a genetically inherited disease, it cannot be curbed completely. However, the chances of transmission can be relatively lessened through the prenatal tests which facilitate early diagnosis of the disease and treatment before the childbirth.

Prevention:

  • It is important to design an effective preventive measure to curb the transmission the disease and do our best to eradicate it.
  • The common citizens, especially youths should be encouraged to donate blood to aid the treatment of the Thalassemia patients.
  • The youths should also be advised to go for the pre-marriage blood test so as to prevent transmission of Thalassemia to their offspring’s.
  • Thalassemia Patients should be encouraged and supported to live a normal life.

On behalf of NAYS, we are grateful to the researchers who are striving to create an improved quality of life for people with thalassaemia across the world. We wish to makes the people come across every idea and plan to remove and cure the thalassemia Disease from the world.

Happy World Thalassemia Day, everyone!

For further reading:

https://www.thalassemia.org/

Article: Ms. Sundeela Fayyaz

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