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Sickle Cell Disease

Published: 10th Feb, 2023

Context

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.

What is Sickle Cell Disease (SCD)?

  • About:
    • SCDis a chronic single gene disorder causing a debilitating systemic syndrome characterized by chronic anaemia, 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.

      • Delayed growth and puberty
    • Treatment:
      • 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 bybone 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.
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