New Delhi: To commemorate World Haemophilia Day and spread awareness about the bleeding disorder, over 2,000 people Sunday participated in a walk and a rally in the capital.
The participants, which included haemophilia patients and their families, school students, members of medical fraternity, volunteers and civil society members, marched from Parliament Street to Tolstoy Marg.
Haemophilia, a congenital lifelong disorder that prevents the blood from clotting, leads to patients bleeding internally, mostly in the joints, muscles and vital organs like the brain. In many cases, the disease leads to permanent disability.
Keshav Desiraju, secretary in the ministry for health and family welfare, flagged off the walk at 7.30 a.m.
"It is unfortunate that despite our untiring advocacy drive, filing number of PILs (public interest litigations)... , Haemophilia has not been included in the national health scheme. However, we are hopeful of the inclusion of comprehensive haemophilia care services in the draft 12th Five Year Plan by the government," said K. Ghosh, president of Haemophilia Federation (India).
The event was organised by GAIL, Baxter India and Haemophilia Society-Delhi Chapter.
"The vast majority of people with haemophilia do not have access to proper care in our country... We can reduce the gap in care," said S.S. Roychoudhury of Haemophilia Federation (India).