Call for mandatory blood screening before marriageStaff Correspondent
World Thalassaemia Day observed
Health experts on Tuesday demanded that the government should make blood test mandatory before marriage to find out thalassaemia carrier to prevent the disease when about 8,000 babies are born in Bangladesh every year with the disease.
Thalassaemia is a genetic disorder that affects the production of haemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying protein in red blood cells.
They said that prevention of the marriage of the couple who are thalassaemia carriers can prevent thalassaemia infection in their babies.
They also demanded that the government should subsidise blood transfusion for thalassaemia patients.
They were speaking at a programme at the National Press Club in Dhaka marking World Thalassaemia Day on Tuesday. This year the theme of the day is ‘Equal rights of the patients.’ The Bangladesh Thalassaemia Society organised the discussion.
Without continued treatment, thalassaemia causes severe anaemia and death. There is no cure but treatment includes regular blood transfusion and medication to remove the excess iron from the blood.
Abid Hossain Mollah, head of paediatrics at Dhaka Medical College Hospital, said that child of the parents who are carriers of the disease is at great risk of being infected with thalassaemia.
‘If one of the patents is a carrier, there is no chance of being infected with the disease,’ he said. ‘Blood screening should be made mandatory before marriage to prevent thalassaemia.’
He said said, ‘A patient needs to take blood after 30 to 45 days which costs between Tk 3,000 to Tk 5,000. It is expensive and most of the patients cannot not bear the expenses.’
Syed Dider Bakht, an adviser to the organisation, called on the government to create awareness of the disease among the public and take steps to prevent it.
The discussants urged the government to subsidise blood transfusion cost for thalassaemia patients.
They also urged the government to subsidise medicines for thalassaemia patients and make them available outside the capital as they are not available outside the capital now.
The health experts also called on the government to reserve two beds in district hospitals for thalassaemia patients.
National professor MR Khan, among others, attended.
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