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SICKLE CELL DISEASE (SCD) IN INDIA



  Jun 25, 2024

SICKLE CELL DISEASE (SCD) IN INDIA



What is Sickle Cell Disease (SCD)?
Sickle Cell Disease is a chronic genetic condition that affects hemoglobin, the protein responsible for oxygen transport in the body. It causes red blood cells to become crescent-shaped, leading to various complications.

How does SCD affect the body?
In SCD, red blood cells take on a sickle shape, which can disrupt blood flow in small vessels. This leads to complications such as end-organ damage, increased infection susceptibility, stroke, and pulmonary issues.

What is the prevalence of SCD in India?
India has the second-highest global prevalence of SCD, with millions affected, particularly among tribal populations. One in 86 births in India is positive for SCD.

What advancements have been made in SCD treatment?
Significant advancements have been made in SCD treatment, including the introduction of multiple disease-modifying therapies and gene therapy. Previously, Hydroxyurea was the only available disease-modifying therapy.

What challenges do SCD patients face in India?
Patients face geographic and socioeconomic disparities that limit access to modern medications and comprehensive care. There is a need for universal access to proven medications like Hydroxyurea and other emerging treatments.

What steps are being taken to address SCD in India?
The Indian government initiated the National Sickle Cell Anaemia Elimination Mission in 2023, aiming to eradicate SCD by 2047. This includes universal screening, awareness campaigns, and counselling in affected tribal regions.

How important is community engagement in combating SCD?
Community engagement is crucial, especially in tribal areas. Initiatives that raise awareness, dispel myths, and promote early screening and intervention can significantly impact the management and prevention of SCD.

Why is global collaboration important for SCD research and treatment?
Global collaboration accelerates progress in research and treatment, harmonizes treatment guidelines, and shares best practices. Partnerships with international organizations and academic institutions are vital for addressing the challenges posed by SCD.

What role does policy advocacy play in SCD care?
Policy advocacy is essential for shaping healthcare policies that prioritize SCD screening, prevention programs, and access to essential medications. Legislative changes can strengthen healthcare infrastructure and ensure equitable access to quality care.

What future developments can improve SCD management?
Emerging technologies like telemedicine, wearable devices, and AI can enhance patient care, predict complications, and personalize treatments. Ongoing research and clinical trials are crucial for developing new therapies and improving patient outcomes.


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