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Budget 2023: What is sickle cell anaemia? Why govt decided to roll out mission to eradicate it?

Budget 2023: The government has put a target to eradicate anaemia by the year 2047, but the question is how will this mission be accomplished.

Health Desk Written By: Health Desk New Delhi Published on: February 01, 2023 15:04 IST
Do you know what is sickle cell anaemia?
Image Source : TWITTER/ANI Do you know what is sickle cell anaemia?

Budget 2023: In the Health Union Budget 2023, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced major changes in the health sector. One of the big announcements was about the decision to roll out a mission to eradicate sickle cell anaemia by 2047. After polio, this disease has caught the attention of the government and plans are being made to eliminate it from the country at the earliest. But do you know what is sickle cell anaemia? 

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced in the Union Budget for 2023-24 on Wednesday, "A mission to eliminate sickle cell anaemia by 2047 will be launched. It will entail awareness creation, universal screening of seven crore people in the age group of 0-40 years in affected tribal areas and counselling through collaborative efforts of central ministries and state governments."

While it is an important step in the eradication of the disease, let us know what is sickle cell anaemia, its symptoms, causes and treatment.

What is sickle cell anaemia?

Sickle cell anaemia is actually a blood disease in which the size of red blood cells starts changing. These red blood cells become sickle-like from being round in shape and cause blockage in the blood vessels. This is a genetic disease in which the body stops making blood. This further leads to severe deficiency of blood in the body, due to which many other problems happen.

Symptoms of sickle cell anaemia

  • Children suffering from sickle cell anemia witness many diseases from birth 
  • There is pain in the bones and muscles 
  • Spleen of children increases in size 
  • There may be swelling in the body
  • Frequent infections
  • Vision problems
  • Frequent blood transfusions may be required 

Sickle Cell Anaemia Treatment

Sickle cell anemia is diagnosed through a blood test. Though a complete cure for this disease is not possible, a stem cell or bone marrow transplant is the only cure for sickle cell disease. However, with the help of folic acid tablets and some liquids etc, its impact and symptoms can be reduced.

What is the condition of sickle cell anaemia in India?

According to the Family Health Survey, between 2015 and 2016, 58.4% of children and 53% of women were victims of this disease. At the same time, government statistics show that 3% of India's tribal population suffered from sickle cell anaemia, and the other 23% were carriers, that is, their genes can spread the disease. In 2018, the disease increased rapidly in India since the 1970s, despite taking precautions.

How will the goal of eradicating anemia be accomplished? 

The government has put a target to eradicate anaemia by the year 2047, but the question is how will this mission be accomplished. In 2018, the Central Government came out with the strategy of Anaemia Mukt Bharat. This included Poshan Abhiyaan, treatment of anemia using testing and digital methods and point of care, provision of fortified foods, and awareness raising through government-funded public health programs. 

 

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