More than one crore people have been screened for sickle cell disease under the National Sickle Cell Anaemia Elimination Mission since its launch by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in July last year. The programme aims to eliminate sickle cell disease in India, particularly among the country’s tribal population in 17 high prevalence states, by 2047.
Health ministry said that the focus is on 278 districts of 17 states with higher prevalence of the disease — Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Assam, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Bihar and Uttarakhand.
The mission entails screening of seven crore population for sickle cell disease in the age group of zero to 40 years, pre-marital and pre-conceptional genetic counselling for its prevention and holistic care for those with the disease across both primary and secondary public health facilities in three years.Sickle cell disease is a genetic blood disease which affects the whole life of the affected patient. It is more common in the tribal population of India but occurs in non-tribal communities too.