Health ministry comes up with guidelines on Thalassemia

While it has defined the guidelines, the health ministry hasn't made the carrier testing compulsory for relatives of thalassemia patients as it wants the same to be voluntary and not cause stigmatisation of the family

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New Delhi: Public health is a state subject. However, the Ministry has prepared and issued comprehensive guideline for Haemoglobinopathies (Thalassemia, Sickle cell anemia and other variant anemia) for prevention and management of Haemoglobinopathies. The Minister of State (Health and Family Welfare), Mrs Anupriya Patel stated this in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha on 18th July.

The minister further mentioned that the guidelines provide for screening of every pregnant woman during ANC, premarital counselling at the college level and one-time screening for variant anaemia for all children in class VIII.

However, Mrs Patel ruled out any proposal to make carrier testing compulsory for relatives of thalassemia patients as it should be voluntary and not cause stigmatization of the family. “Awareness programme on thalassemia are being conducted by several State Governments,” she said.