The Government is planning for permanent disability certificates for Sickle-Cell Disease (SCD) patients for age 5+, now stalled for three years.
The Union government has been publicising its campaign to “eradicate” Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) in India by 2047.
SCD was included in the list of disabilities under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, patients could only avail disability certificates with one-year validity.
Later on, the DEPwD eventually increased the validity of disability certificates for SCD patients to three years, requiring a minimum of 25% disability.
What is Disability Certificate?
Disability certificates in India are official documents issued to individuals with disabilities to provide legal recognition of their disability status.
These certificates are essential for accessing various government benefits, reservations, and support services aimed at improving the lives of people with disabilities.
Disability certificates are typically issued by medical boards or committees appointed by the state or central government.
These boards consist of medical professionals who assess and certify the extent and type of disability.
Disability certificates are typically valid for a specified period, after which individuals may need to undergo a reassessment to determine if there have been any changes in their disability status.
They are issued in compliance with the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, which provides a legal framework for safeguarding the rights and interests of people with disabilities in India.
Disability certificates play a crucial role in accessing various government schemes and benefits, including reservation in education and employment, financial assistance, transport concessions, and assistive devices.
What is Sickle Cell Disease (SCD)?
SCD is a chronic single gene disorder causing a debilitating systemic syndrome characterized by chronic anemia, acute painful episodes, organ infarction and chronic organ damage and by a significant reduction in life expectancy.
Symptoms:Symptoms of sickle cell disease can vary, but some common symptoms include:
Chronic Anaemia:leading to fatigue, weakness, and paleness.
Painful episodes (also known as sickle cell crisis): these can cause sudden and intense pain in the bones, chest, back, arms, and legs.
Blood Transfusions:These can help relieve anaemia and reduce the risk of pain crises.
Hydroxyurea:This is a medication that can help reduce the frequency of painful episodes and prevent some of the long-term complications of the disease.
It can also be treated by bone marrow or stem cell transplantation.
Government Initiatives to Tackle SCD:
Government has released technical operational guidelinesfor prevention and control of hemoglobinopathies in 2016 including sickle cell.
Integrated centers have also been established in 22 tribal districts for treatment and diagnosis.
The State Haemoglobinopathy Missionhas been established in Madhya Pradesh to address the challenges in screening and management of the disease.
National Sickle Cell Anaemia Elimination Mission:
The National Sickle Cell Anaemia Elimination Mission was announced in the Union Budget 2023-2024.
It will be implemented in 278 districts of 17 states in the country.