●What is Sickle Cell Disease (SCD)?
•It is an inherited blood disease which is most common among people of African, Arabian and Indian origin.
•It is a group of disorders that affects hemoglobin, the molecule in red blood cells that delivers oxygen to cells throughout the body
Symptoms: It can cause severe pain, referred to as sickle cell crises. Infections and fatigue are other symptoms
•Indian government has also initiated an ‘Action Research’ project under which Yoga dependent lifestyle is promoted to reduce the complications in the patient suffering from this disease
【Recently, World Sickle Cell Day 2020 was observed in India to increase awareness about the Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) at the national level.
(The day is recognised by the United Nations and celebrated every year on 19th June)
•According to Global Burden of Disease (GBD)—a global research programme that estimates mortality and burden from major diseases across the globe— the prevalence and incidence of sickle cell disease in India in 2017 and 2018 was 1,104,634 and 195,166, respectively.
•The disease in India occurs predominantly in eastern Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, western Odisha and in pockets of the Nilgiri Hills in north Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
•The disease is prevalent among tribal communities (including children).
Social Stigma: It reduces the effectiveness of screening programmes as people don’t want to go to health authorities.
•Prevalence among Tribal Population: Access to care for SCD in the tribal regions of India is limited.
•School Drop Out: Children with sickle cell disease often have to drop out from school.
•Policy Issue: The delayed implementation of the 2018 draft policy on haemoglobinopathies.
•The policy aims to provide evidence-based treatment for patients and reduce the number of new-born children with sickle cell disease through initiatives such as the Sickle Cell Anaemia Control Program, screening and prenatal diagnosis.