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 Sickle Cell Anemia

Focus: GS II: Health

Why in News?

The Government of India, through the National Health Mission, is supporting the states in their efforts to prevent and manage sickle cell disease. In Union Budget 2023-24, the government has announced a mission to eliminate Sickle cell Anaemia by 2047.

Sickle Cell Anemia

  • Sickle cell anemia is a genetic blood disorder in which the red blood cells take on a crescent shape, making it difficult for the cells to pass through small blood vessels and causing blockages.

The symptoms of sickle cell anemia can vary from person to person, but common symptoms include:

  • Painful episodes (sickle cell crisis)
  • Anemia
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Delays in growth and development
  • Joint pain
  • frequent infections

Currently, there is no cure for sickle cell anemia, but treatments are available to manage the symptoms and prevent complications.

  • Pain management
  • Blood transfusions
  • Antibiotics to prevent infections
  • Hydoxyurea, a medication to reduce the frequency of sickle cell crises
  • Stem cell transplantation in some cases

Indian Government Initiatives to reduce Sickle Cell Anaemia

  • Government has released technical operational guidelines for prevention and control of hemoglobinopathies in 2016 including sickle cell anaemia.
  • Integrated centers have also been established in 22 tribal districts for treatment and diagnosis.
  • The State Haemoglobinopathy Mission has been established in Madhya Pradesh to address the challenges in screening and management of the disease.

July 2024