Health ministry’s fight against sickle cell anaemia to follow Gujarat playbook

Source: The post is based on the article “Health ministry’s fight against sickle cell anaemia to follow Gujarat playbook” published in Economic Times on 2nd February 2023

What is the News?

The Finance Minister has announced that the government will work towards the mission to eliminate sickle-cell anaemia while presenting the Union Budget 2023-24 in Parliament.

What is Sickle Cell Anaemia?

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Sickle Cell Anaemia prevalence in Tribal Population

According to the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, sickle-cell anaemia is widespread among the tribal population in India where about 1 in 86 births among STs have Sickle Cell Anaemia.

There are approximately 200 districts in the country where the disease is prevalent, mostly in Maharashtra. Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Odisha.

In 2020, the Ministry of Tribal Affairs launched the Sickle Cell Disease Support Corner to bridge the gap between patients and health care services in tribal areas. 

How is the Government of India planning to tackle Sickle Cell Anaemia in Tribal population?

The Government of India is planning to launch a mission to eliminate sickle cell disease by 2047. 

The mission will entail awareness, creation and universal screening of seven crore tribal people in the age group of 0 to 40 years in tribal areas and counselling through effective measures of ministries and state government.

The screening programme will be done in approximately 200 districts. The screening will be done through point tests.

Both men and women will be tested and if both are found positive, adequate counselling will be given to them, including the fact that they should not indulge in matrimony with each other as their children could also be seen carrying the same disease. The colour-coded card will help identify this.

The funds for the mission will be disbursed through the National Health Mission, and states will receive 60% of the funds from the central government and 40% from state contributions.

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