World Sickle Cell Day: Expert advice to raise awareness of sickle cell disease
Mumbai: Sickle Cell Disease Day is being celebrated all over the world today. Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a hereditary blood disorder that poses a major challenge to India’s public health system. These diseases can lead to complex health problems such as pneumonia, bloodstream infections, stroke, and severe or excruciating pain.
India ranks first in the world after Nigeria in terms of sickle cell disease patients. SCT is estimated to have 18 million patients and the country’s tribal population has an estimated 1.4 million SCD patients. According to the Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MOTA), one in every 86 children born in a Scheduled Tribe has SCD. In view of the increasing burden of sickle cell disease, the Ministry has set up a Sickle Cell Disease Support Corner to bridge the gap between patients and health care in the tribal areas.
In order to control the number of SCD patients, the World Health Council has established a plan for disease prevention through newborn screening, treatment and counseling of sickle cell disease patients, as well as marital counseling and diagnosis between parents. recommendations have been made.
Hydroxyurea is administered to patients for effective management of SCD. Other treatments include antibiotics to fight infection and vitamin supplements for red blood cell production.
“Measures like intensive screening of the fetus and newborn should be made mandatory. Adult SCD patients should also be given the pneumococcal vaccine under a doctor’s guidance. Management of complications such as avascular necrosis (AVN), acute chest syndrome and stroke is important in the later stages of the disease. This is why spontaneous steps should be taken to create awareness about SCD, its diagnosis and treatment options, said Gautam Dongre, Secretary, National Alliance of Sickle Cell Organizations, NASCO.
SCD management requires a holistic approach to care and a multidisciplinary approach where all components of the ecosystem come together to provide the necessary efforts and resources to meet the needs of sickle cell patients in India. can. India has prepared a National Strategy in 2018 to address the problem of SCD as a health problem, which includes guidelines for the prevention and control of hemoglobinopathies such as sickle cell diseases including hemophilia and thalassemia. The policy is yet to be implemented and the government is working on a revised version of the policy with various stakeholders in this area. Once this policy is implemented at the national level, it will need to be adopted at the state level.