Balaghat (Madhya Pradesh): As many as 872 children have been diagnosed with sickle cell anaemia in four days in a few tribal areas of Balaghat district, says a report recently submitted by National Rural Health Mission (NRHM).
The report has shocked the health officials and the district administration, because sickle cell disease is a genetic disorder and rarely found in India. According to the NHRM report, most of the newborns suffer from tuberculosis and asthma, but now, they have developed sickle cell anaemia.
According to sources in the health department, the fact about sickle cell disease came to light during a campaign launched by Sickle Cell Anaemia Mission in tribal areas – Baihar, Birsa and Paraswada.
The campaign is on, and more children are being tested. According to the report, sickle cell is a blood-related disorder that contorts the red blood cells into a sickle shape.
Once children suffer from this disease, their blood formation stops, and they frequently need transfusion.
Doctors said that such diseases take place because of adverse climatic conditions. The doctors further said that pneumococcal flu meningococcal vaccines are given to deal with the disease.
The vaccines change the abnormal genes, but haemoglobin levels of such patients should not be allowed to go down, the doctors said. To keep this disease away, one must consume green vegetables, fruits and take a balanced diet, they said.
District vaccination officer, Dr Paresh Uplap, said that 872 children were diagnosed with sickle cell disease between April 19 and April 21.
The health officials will continue to test children to detect the patients suffering from sickle cell anaemia in the district and treat them accordingly, Dr Uplap said. In Paraswada block of Balaghat district, out of 9274 people tested 580 were found to be positive.
Similarly, out of 5221 people in Baihar block, 220 were tested positive. In the Birsa area, out of 2682, 72 were diagnosed with sickle cell anaemia.