World Thalassemia Day being organized in Jaipur hospitals
Dr. Lalit Kishore | 06 May 2013

World Thalassemia Day is going to be observed in JK Lone Hospital and Santokba Durlabhji Hospital of Jaipur on May 8, and it will be marked by free blood tests, lectures and cultural programmes by Thalassemic children.

According to Mahesh Bhatia, the president of city-based Thalassemia Children Society, the events in the hospitals are being organized to raise awareness of this disease and highlighting the measures to avoid it. A colourful cultural programme will be organized in the auditorium of Durlabhji Hospital in the evening by children to promote the cause of blood donation.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has set the 8th of May each year as the World Thalassemia Day to make people understand that prevention is the only cure for this disease. According to WHO, Thalassemia is a genetic blood disease which the child could inherit if one or both of his/her parents is carrying the disease gene. Symptoms are not visible, but it can be identified  through medical tests.

Studies inform that around 19% of the population carry the Thalassemia gene  and more so in the communities in which marriages among blood relations are permitted.  It has also been revealed that thalassaemia as a recessive blood disorder originated in the Mediterranean region. In thalassemia, the disease is caused by the weakening and destruction of red blood cells.

People with thalassemia make less hemoglobin and fewer circulating red blood cells than normal, which results in mild or severe anemia. However, the expensive bone marrow transplant (BMT) from compatible donor can cure the low-risk young patients with high survival rate.

Thalassemia causes anemia and retards child's growth often leading to heart problems such as congestive heart failure and abnormal heart rhythms . A personal suffering from Thalassemia-Major needs blood transfusion every 2-3 weeks. The blood transfusion requirements increases as the person grows. However, due to constant blood transfusion, the diseased get an excess amount of iron in body that  harms other organs like pancreas, kidney, heart etc badly. Along with blood transfusion, the patient has to get the blood iron removed using iron chelation medicines.