Raipur: Chhattisgarh Wednesday said it would screen school students and their mothers for sickle cell anaemia in a bid to check the increasing incidence of the disease in the state.
"The government is committed to detecting all sickle cell anaemia carriers and patients and provide them medical help free of cost. In fiscal year 2011-12, we have made a budgetary provision of Rs 2.93 crore for reaching out to school students and their mothers to screen them and detect the disease," an official statement said.
Among the states, Chhattisgarh is one of the worst-hit by the disease. The latest official figures say of the state`s nearly 26 million people, up to 15 percent are sickle cell carrier and 1.2 percent are patients.
Sickle cell anaemia is an inherited genetic lifelong blood disorder characterised by red blood cells assuming an abnormal, rigid, sickle shape. It decreases the cell`s flexibility and results in a risk of serious complications. The disorder occurs due to a mutation in the haemoglobin gene. Life expectancy among patients is substantially shortened.
Health officials say the situation is alarming in 10 districts that have a high population of Other Backward Class (OBC) and tribal citizens among whom the disorder is very common.
The Chhattisgarh government has set up the Centre for Genetic Diseases and Molecular Biology to control the disease that is implementing the project and spreading awareness