Health Ministry issues National Policy on thalassemia
The Minister of State (Health and Family Welfare), Smt Anupriya Patel has expressed the importance to frame the guidelines on thalassemia in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha.
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 guidelines provide for screening of every pregnant woman during ANC, pre-marital counseling at the college level and onetime screening for variant anemia for all children in class VIII. There is no proposal to make carrier testing compulsory for relatives of thalassemia patients as it should be voluntary and not cause stigmatisation of the family. Awareness programme on thalassemia are being conducted by several State Governments.