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Dr Harsh Vardhan launches second phase of “Thalassemia Bal Sewa Yojna” for underprivileged thalassemic patients

Our Bureau, Mumbai
Thursday, October 15, 2020, 16:40 Hrs  [IST]

Union health minister, Dr Harsh Vardhan, launched the second phase of “Thalassemia Bal Sewa Yojna” for the underprivileged thalassemic patients, virtually from Nirman Bhawan.

Launched in 2017, this scheme is a Coal India CSR funded Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation (HSCT) programme that aims to provide a one-time cure opportunity for haemoglobinopathies like thalassaemia and sickle cell disease for patients who have a matched family donor.

The CSR initiative was targeted to provide financial assistance to a total of 200 patients by providing a package cost not exceeding Rs. 10 lakhs per HSCT.

Dr Vardhan congratulated the doctors of SGPGI Lucknow, PGI Chandigarh, AIIMS Delhi, CMC Vellore, Tata Medical centre, Kolkata and Rajeev Gandhi Cancer Institute, Delhi for the successful transplantation of 135 children without charging any physician fee.

He stated that “Data on the prevalence of silent carriers for various haemoglobinopathies show that it is 2.9-4.6% for ß-thalassemia, while it can be as high as 40% for sickle cell anaemia especially among the tribal population. haemoglobin variants like HBE in eastern India can be as common as 3-50% which calls for more attention to these diseases.” He also acknowledged CMC, Ludhiana and Narayan Hrudayalaya, Bengaluru who have agreed to provide this advanced care therapy from 2020.

Expressing satisfaction that the scheme has been extended to cover aplastic anaemia patients for a total of 200 such patients from this year, he said, “Such cases can be prevented by counselling using the Ayushman Bharat –health and wellness centres network. We have made blood transfusion facilities available in every district hospital while some districts also offer the facility in health centres at sub-district level.”

Rajesh Bhushan, union health secretary and other senior officials of the health ministry were present on the occasion.

From the medical community, Dr Vikram Mathews, HOD haematology, CMC Vellore, Dr Soniya Nityanand, HOD haematology, SGPGI Lucknow, Dr Dinesh Burrani, HOD haematology, RGCI, Dr Pankaj Malhotra, HOD haematology, PGI Chandigarh, Dr. Manoranjan Mahapatra, HOD haematology, AIIMS New Delhi, Dr. Mammen Chandy, HOD haematology, Tata Medical Centre, Kolkata, Dr Sunil Bhatt, HOD haematology paediatric, Narayan Hrudayalaya , Bengaluru, Dr. Joseph John, HOD haematology, CMC Ludhiana and many children affected by thalassemia along with their parents joined the programme virtually.


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