Dr. Bharati Praveen Pawar, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare of India, on Monday, released the standard treatment guidelines for Sickle Cell Anemia Disease.

Sickle Cell Anaemia Disease is a group of inherited disorders that cause red blood cells to become misshapen and break down.

These guidelines have been prepared by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). According to the guidelines, the following group will be screened to detect Sickle Cell Anemia Diseases:

  • Antenatal Mothers or pre-pregnancy planning
  • Newborn
  • Population screening/patient of any age

The guidelines also involve how to conduct medical disease counseling, genetic counseling, preconception care counseling, pre and post-test support to the family and cascade screening.

The guidelines also highlighted some red flags for hospitalization or referral to a higher center and include persistent temperatures more than 38 degrees celcius, pain inadequately relieved by home measures, significant respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath, chest pain) or hypoxia, abdominal pain , distention, acute enlargement of spleen and significant vomiting and diarrhoea among others.

In February this year, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a mission to eliminate sickle cell anemia by the year 2047 during her Union Budget Presentation 2023. The Union Minister had emphasized during her speech that the program will entail awareness creation and universal screening of 7 crore people In the age group of 0-40 years in affected tribal areas.

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