Chhattisgarh to step up sickle-cell patients detection drive

November 27th, 2010 - 11:41 pm ICT by IANS  

Raipur, Nov 27 (IANS) Chhattisgarh, one of the Indian state’s worst-affected with the sickle-cell blood disorder, will step up its drive to detect the people suffering from the deadly disease, Health Minister Amar Agrawal said Saturday.

“Chhattisgarh plans to screen its entire child and women population in three years to detect the people carrying the disease,” said Agrawal, adding that nearly 250 experts who attended the six-day 4th International Congress on Sickle Cell that ended here Friday, had given several invaluable inputs how to contain the disease and his government would try to act on the suggestions.

The state government is trying to reach out to rural masses where the number of sickle cell patients were rising significantly in certain castes mostly due to unawareness, the minister said.

Around 15-18 percent of the Chhattisgarh’s 20.08 million population is affected by the disease and more than 50 percent of the affected children in the state die before the age of five.

P.K. Patra, head of the state government’s Centre for Genetic Diseases and Molecular Biology, said: “The sickle cell disorder is an inherited genetic lifelong blood disorder characterised by red blood cells assuming an abnormal, rigid, sickle shape. Sickling decreases the cell’s flexibility and results in a risk of serious complications.”

Chhattisgarh should be considered a nucleus of the sickle cell disorder in India, though it is also prevalent in Maharashtra, Orissa, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and parts of Andhra Pradesh, Patra added.

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