Amidst changing political regime, experts from the Federation of Indian Thalassemics (FIT), strongly hope that the new government should seriously look into addressing issues relating to blood disorders across country, an area that has been ignored so far. There have been a growing discontent and concern among the Federation over the lack of proper initiatives taken by the government in taking proactive measures to create a database and awareness on blood disorders like thalassemia, sickle cell disease, hemophilia, etc.
The Federation pointed out that though the government has been doing small scale pilot project in these areas through Indian Council of Medical Research (IMR) and other government agencies, it has failed to garner interest or result in getting desired effect. They stressed that there is lack of enthusiasm in taking ahead a project in this particular area which has been long ignored in spite of growing disturbing trends.
According to FIT, at present over 3 to 4 per cent of the total Indian population suffers from various blood disorders like sickle cell disease etc, wherein, most of these cases are reported from Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Oddhisa, which is also known as sickle cell belt of the country. According to Dr Ved Prakash Choudhry, medical director of FIT, it is high time to have a detailed and planned approach to address the issues raising out of blood disorders.
“The government has to go a long way to create awareness about this phenomenon which is threatening to become a major healthcare concern. Considering the present scenario immediate steps should be taken not only to create awareness about the same at the national level but also for pro-active steps to control the same. What we need is, not just some small projects under the government which hardly has the potential in itself, but a full fledged national level programme on the lines of polio and small pox initiatives,” Dr Choudhry who is also the medical advisor at National Thalassemia Welfare Society added.
Interestingly, he stressed that a lot of hope is being put on the Narendra Modi led government especially since Gujarat which has Modi as the CM is the only state in the country having a dedicated thalasemia care programme. He said that with Modi at the realm, there is an optimistic view among the experts that he may replicate the same structured programme at the centre as well.