In a major step towards combating the widespread prevalence of Sickle Cell Anaemia in India, PM Shri Narendra Modi has officially launched the Sickle Cell Anaemia Elimination Mission. The government aims to eliminate this debilitating genetic disorder from the country by the year 2047.
During the launch event, Shri Mansukh Mandaviya, the Union Health Minister, expressed the government’s commitment to safeguarding the future of the Adivasi community. He emphasized the need to save the lives of approximately 2.5 lakh individuals who fall prey to sickle cell anaemia each year.
As part of the initiative, Prime Minister Modi inaugurated a comprehensive training module designed for health professionals, with a particular focus on community health officers. This module will equip them with the necessary knowledge and skills to effectively address sickle cell anaemia at the grassroots level. Additionally, an awareness module was also launched to educate the general public about the disease and its prevention.
In a significant move, digital Ayushman Bharat cards were distributed to 10 million people in Madhya Pradesh. This step will enable easier access to healthcare services for individuals affected by sickle cell anaemia.
He said Sickle cell anaemia is a chronic condition characterized by persistent pain in the joints, recurring swelling, and breathlessness. It severely affects the internal organs of those afflicted by it. The disease is hereditary and can be passed down from parents to their children. Those born with sickle cell anaemia often struggle with its debilitating effects throughout their lives.
Despite the global prevalence of sickle cell anaemia, it is regrettable that for the past 70 years, this issue has not received the attention it deserves in our country. It is predominantly prevalent among the Adivasi community, which has been disproportionately affected by the disease.
The Sickle Cell Anaemia Elimination Mission will be a central focus during the Amrita Mahotsav. It will involve the establishment of new blood banks and the expansion of facilities for bone marrow transplants. Screening for the disease is crucial as it cannot be detected or treated without a proper medical check-up. While matching blood types for transplantation is essential, it is equally important to match the sickle cell card to prevent the transmission of the disease to future generations.
Prime Minister Modi also drew attention to the successful elimination of the dangerous disease kala-azar. He emphasized that through dedicated efforts and collective determination, India has been able to overcome such challenges in the past, and he expressed confidence that a similar outcome can be achieved in eradicating sickle cell anaemia.
With the launch of the Sickle Cell Anaemia Elimination Mission, India takes a significant stride towards eradicating this genetic disorder and ensuring a healthier future for the Adivasi community. The government’s commitment to tackling this long-neglected issue will undoubtedly bring hope and relief to those affected by sickle cell anaemia across the nation.