From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Thalassemia
Mains level : Not Much
Union Health Ministry has launched the second phase of “Thalassemia Bal Sewa Yojna” for underprivileged Thalassemic patients.
Thalassemia Bal Sewa Yojna
- This scheme was launched in 2017 under the Coal India CSR funded Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation (HSCT) program.
- It aims to provide a one-time cure opportunity for Haemoglobinopathies like Thalassaemia and Sickle Cell Disease for patients who have a matched family donor.
- The initiative was targeted to provide financial assistance to a total of 200 patients by providing a package cost not exceeding Rs. 10 lakhs per HSCT.
What is Thalassemia?
- Thalassemia is an inherited blood disorder characterized by less oxygen-carrying protein (haemoglobin) and fewer red blood cells in the body than normal.
- When there isn’t enough haemoglobin, the body’s red blood cells don’t function properly and they last shorter periods of time, so there are fewer healthy red blood cells travelling in the bloodstream.
- Symptoms include fatigue, weakness, paleness and slow growth.
- Mild forms may not need treatment. Severe forms may require blood transfusions or a donor stem-cell transplant.