New Delhi, May 9 (IANS) Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Tuesday urged all parliamentarians to start thalasaemia screening programmes in their respective constituencies so that it can be eradicated from India at the earliest.
In his address at a programme organised by the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in association with Thalassemics India on World Thalassemia day, which is observed on May 9, he reiterated the strong need to prevent thalassemia by national screening and assured his help in implementing the programme.
He also urged that safe blood be provided for these multi-transfused patients and the need for facilities to be available in all parts of the country.
“I will appeal to all the Members of Parliament to start thalassemia screening programmes in their respective constituencies so that it can be eradicated from India as soon as possible. I will also recommend to government to start thalassemia testing free of cost,” Birla added.
Meanwhile, Union Tribal Affairs Minister Arjun Munda also stressed the need for prevention and screening on a national mission mode as was being done for sickle cell anaemia in tribal areas.
“We need to take care of these diseases and eradicate them in the next 25 years. As guided by our Prime Minister we are soon going to start a colour card system to identify all genetically linked diseases so that they can be easily identified,” Munda said.
Dr Anupam Sachdeva, Head Pediatric Haematology and Bone Marrow Transplant, said that all pregnancies are being screened for thalassemia at the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital since 2006.
“And we are proud to say that till date we have screened over 50,000 pregnancies and no thalassemic child has been born since that time,” he added.
During the programme a screening camp was also held during the function with point of care testing for carrier detection. The point of care testing equipment first made in India was also launched in the function.