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World Thalassaemia Day 2024 Celebrates on 8th May

Observed annually on May 8th, World Thalassaemia Day aims to raise global awareness about this genetic disorder, support those affected and their caregivers, promote research for a cure, and dispel myths surrounding the disease. This year’s theme is: “Empowering Lives, Embracing Progress: Equitable and Accessible Thalassaemia Treatment for All’’.

Understanding Thalassaemia

Thalassaemia is a genetic disorder that affects the production of haemoglobin, leading to a shortage of red blood cells and anaemia. While carriers of the thalassaemia gene may lead normal lives, those with thalassaemia major require repeated blood transfusions and are susceptible to various infections, organ complications, and potential organ failure.

Origins of World Thalassaemia Day

In 1994, the Founder of the Thalassemia International Federation (TIF), Panos Englezos, established World Thalassaemia Day in memory of his son George, who lost his life to the disease. The day was created to unite efforts in fighting thalassaemia, remembering those who succumbed to it, and finding a cure.

Global Efforts and Support

Over the years, patient support groups, healthcare professionals, and advocacy organizations worldwide have championed the cause, highlighting the challenges faced by individuals living with thalassaemia and their families, including the need for regular blood transfusions, iron chelation therapy, and access to quality healthcare.

Raising Awareness through Initiatives

On World Thalassaemia Day, various activities and events are organized by healthcare institutions, patient support groups, and community organizations to raise awareness and support. These initiatives may include:

  • Educational seminars
  • Blood donation drives
  • Fundraising events for research and patient support
  • Awareness campaigns through media and social platforms
  • Advocacy for improved healthcare policies and services for thalassaemia patients

Early Diagnosis and Prevention

Dr. Dipanjana Datta, a Genetic Counselor at Renew Healthcare, emphasizes the importance of early diagnosis through techniques like haemoglobin electrophoresis, DNA analysis, prenatal diagnosis, and preimplantation genetic testing. Early detection enables proactive management, treatment plans, and informed family planning decisions.

Empowering Individuals through Education

Raising awareness and providing accessible screening programs are crucial steps in empowering individuals with knowledge about thalassaemia. Education plays a vital role in prevention and improving outcomes for those affected by this genetic disorder.

World Thalassaemia Day serves as a platform to unite efforts, raise global awareness, and support those affected by thalassaemia, while promoting research and advocating for improved healthcare services to combat this genetic disorder.

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