May 8th, which was yesterday must have seemed like any other day to you but is now observed as World Thalassemia Day. It’s important to know this, as it aims to increase awareness of thalassemia. In case you didn’t know anything about the disorder, read on.
Thalassemia is a blood disorder which is inherited. Its main characteristic is less haemoglobin and less than a normal number of blood cells. A patient of thalassemia has at least one parent as a carrier of the disease. If both the parents have thalassemia, there is a 25% chance that the child will also be a victim of this disease. A patient of thalassemia can suffer from bone deformities, especially in the face. Unfortunately, often these symptoms do not surface with every patient. Some signs and symptoms only develop during later childhood or adolescence.
The number of gene mutations inherited from the parents decides the type of thalassemia. The affected part of the haemoglobin molecule by mutations also affects it. The more mutated genes, the more severe will thalassemia be.
Those at high risk of thalassemia are the ones who have thalassemia in family history. Thalassemia is also more common in people of Mediterranean and Southeast Asian ancestry, and in African-Americans.
Thalassemia can affect more people than you think, and despite the glaring odds, people are not well aware.
Thalassemia can be prevented. If you are a carrier, talk to your doctor before planning pregnancy. S/he will tell you the risks of your child being thalassemia minor or major. Accordingly, you can take the decision of pregnancy, which is why many celebrities pledged to spread awareness about it through their social media handles. Celebs like Anil Kapoor, Rajkumar Ro, Arjun Kapoor, Bhumi Pednekar,Kunal Kapoor, Abhishek Bachchan and Huma Quereshi took their social media accounts to post a picture of half their face to promote awareness for it.
Their posts said, “Did you know that when both husband and wife have Thalassemia Minor, there is a 25% chance that their child will have Thalassemia Major and reduced life expectancy?
Today, on #WorldThalassemiaDay, by posting this picture of half my face, I am supporting the #AadhiwaliZindagiMitao movement to remind everyone to get tested for Thalassemia and prevent giving their child half a life. Visit www.thewishingfactory.org or call 844-844-9544 to schedule a Thalassemia test and to donate to help patients. “
We hope this helps create awareness that can reduce the occurrence of this disease.