Correspondent (Delhi) The National Association of Reproductive and Child Health (NARCHI) Delhi and Gracia Raina Foundation organised a thalassemia awareness walkathon today in the city to create awareness about the disorder. Noted personalities including Dr Achla Batra-President-NARCHI Delhi, Priyanka Chaudhary Raina-Founder-Gracia Raina Foundation, Dr Jaishree Sundar- Madhukar Rainbow Hospital , Dr Pratima Mittal-Vice President-FOGIS, Dr Narendra Malhotra- National President-ISPAT, participated in the walkathon.
Thalassemia is a genetic disorder in which the body creates an abnormal form of haemoglobin. The disorder results in the excessive destruction of red blood cells, which makes the affected person dependent on blood transfusions every 2-3 weeks for survival. India has over one lakh thalassemia patients and over 42 million thalassemia carriers. People with beta thalassemia trait usually experience no health problem other than mild anemia. However, marriage between two such individuals can result in a child being born with thalassemia major. However, a premarital carrier test or prenatal test during pregnancy can prevent the birth of a child suffering from thalassemia major.
According to NARCHI Delhi branch President Dr Achla Batra, “Thalassemia is completely preventable. It only calls for awareness about the disease in the public, especially youngsters. In developing nation like India, it bears enormous, psychological, social, and financial, burden on the patient and family. Prevention is the first step towards Thalassemia-free nation. Awareness is the key for eliminating thalassemia. This walkathon is a small step towards the goal of creating universal awareness.”
Priyanka Chaudhary Raina, Founder, Gracia Raina Foundation said, “We are pleased to associate with NARCHI for this important cause. It is important to create public awareness about the disorder. Tests and pre-natal counselling about the potential complications will be very useful. Babies should be tested at birth for such genetic problem. Ideally, people should also get themselves checked for thalassemia before marriage to ensure a better future for both partners.”