International Thalassaemia Day is annually observed across the globe on 8th May to create awareness about Thalassaemia, an inherited blood disorder caused when the body doesn’t make enough of a protein called haemoglobin, an important part of red blood cells.
The theme of International Thalassaemia Day 2022 is “Be Aware. Share. Care: Working with the global community as one to improve Thalassemia knowledge.”
Objective of the day:
- To bring the attention of the general public, patient organisations, government officials, healthcare professionals, and industry representatives to a certain theme relating to illness prevention, management, or treatment in a patient-centred way.
- The international community also renewed their promise to find a cure for thalassaemia.
In 1994, Thalassaemia International Federation (TIF) established the 8th of May as “International Thalassaemia Day” in the memory of George Englezos son of Panos Englezos, the President and Founder of TIF and to remember all the patients who have lost their life due to thalassaemia.
i.Thalassaemia is the name for a group of inherited conditions that affect a substance in the blood called haemoglobin.
ii.People with thalassaemia produce either no or too little haemoglobin, which is used by red blood cells to carry oxygen around the body. People with Thalassaemia will be very anaemic.
Types: The different types of thalassaemia can be divided into alpha and beta thalassaemias. Beta thalassaemia is the most severe type.
Cause: Thalassaemia is caused by faulty genes that affect the production of haemoglobin.
Associated Health issues: Chronic anaemia, a hypermetabolic state, endocrine abnormalities; too much iron in the body
Observance in India:
Arjun Munda, Union Minister, Ministry of Tribal Affairs(MoTA) virtually addressed the webinar “Challenges in Thalassemia 2022”, organised by the MoTA along with various ministries and Thalassemia Association, in New Delhi, Delhi.
This was organised as a part of the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav celebrations.
It is estimated that in India there are around 1 lakh patients with a β Thalassemia syndrome and around 150,0000 patients with sickle cell disease/trait.
About Thalassaemia International Federation (TIF):
The Thalassaemia International Federation (TIF) is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation founded in 1986.
President– Panos Englezos
Headquarters– Strovolos, Nicosia, Cyprus