• Thalassemia is an inherited blood disorder characterised by less oxygen-carrying protein (haemoglobin) and fewer red blood cells in the body than normal.
  • Symptoms include fatigue, weakness, paleness and slow growth.
  • Thalassemias are genetic disorders inherited from a person’s parents
  • India has the highest number of thalassaemia majors and carriers (or those who are asymptomatic).
  • It is estimated that there are more than 100,000 thalassaemia majors in the country or an average prevalence rate of 3-4% carriers in the general population.
  • Each year, there are 10,000 children born with thalassaemia major.
  • Patients require lifelong blood transfusion, iron chelation therapies and other treatment
  • There is still no cure other than a bone marrow transplant.
  • As this has to be done in early childhood, it is not a workable cure as yet for adults.
  • Thalassaemia causes a significant economic burden on the country due to rising health care and drug expenses.
  • Given the genetic nature of the disease, it is in India’s best interests to focus on prevention and a cure

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