World Thalassemia Day is celebrated every year on May 8th to commemorate Thalassemia victims and to encourage those who struggle to live with the disease.
World Thalassaemia Day 2021: Theme
World Thalassaemia Day theme 2021 is ”Addressing Health Inequalities Across the Global Thalassaemia Community”.
World Thalassaemia Day: Objectives
– To raise awareness about the disease, its symptoms and ways to live with it;
– If a person is suffering from thalassaemia, to raise awareness that before marriage it is important to consult a doctor;
– To raise awareness about the importance of vaccination for children’s health, society and the whole world;
– Redress misconceptions about vaccinations.
What is Thalassaemia Disease?
It is an inherited blood disorder that passes from parents to children.
There are several types of thalassaemia disease and its treatment depends on its types and severity.
In this disease, the ability of the body to produce haemoglobin and red blood cells gets affected.
Or we can say that a person suffering from thalassaemia disease will have a few red blood cells and very little haemoglobin.
Its impact may range from mild to severe and life-threatening also.
This disease is most common with the Mediterranean, South Asian and African ancestry.
There are several types of thalassemia.
The signs and symptoms you have depend on the type and severity of your condition.
What are the symptoms of Thalassaemia disease?
– Drowsiness and Fatigue;
– Chest pain;
– Shortness of breath;
– Delayed growth;
– Jaundice and pale skin;
– Dizziness and faintness;
– Greater susceptibility to infections etc.
Thalassemia signs and symptoms can include:
– Pale or yellowish skin;
– Facial bone deformities;
– Slow growth;
– Abdominal swelling;
– Dark urine.
Some babies show signs and symptoms of thalassemia at birth; others develop them during the first two years of life.
Some people who have only one affected hemoglobin gene don’t have thalassemia symptoms.
Thalassemia is caused by mutations in the DNA of cells that make hemoglobin — the substance in red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout your body.
The mutations associated with thalassemia are passed from parents to children.
Hemoglobin molecules are made of chains called alpha and beta chains that can be affected by mutations.
In thalassemia, the production of either the alpha or beta chains are reduced, resulting in either alpha-thalassemia or beta-thalassemia.
In alpha-thalassemia, the severity of thalassemia you have depends on the number of gene mutations you inherit from your parents. The more mutated genes, the more severe your thalassemia.
In beta-thalassemia, the severity of thalassemia you have depends on which part of the hemoglobin molecule is affected.
Four genes are involved in making the alpha hemoglobin chain. You get two from each of your parents. If you inherit:
– One mutated gene, you’ll have no signs or symptoms of thalassemia. But you are a carrier of the disease and can pass it on to your children;
– Two mutated genes, your thalassemia signs and symptoms will be mild. This condition might be called alpha-thalassemia trait;
– Three mutated genes, your signs and symptoms will be moderate to severe.
Inheriting four mutated genes is rare and usually results in stillbirth. Babies born with this condition often die shortly after birth or require lifelong transfusion therapy.
In rare cases, a child born with this condition can be treated with transfusions and a stem cell transplant.
Two genes are involved in making the beta hemoglobin chain. You get one from each of your parents. If you inherit:
– One mutated gene, you’ll have mild signs and symptoms. This condition is called thalassemia minor or beta-thalassemia;
– Two mutated genes, your signs and symptoms will be moderate to severe. This condition is called thalassemia major, or Cooley anemia.
Babies born with two defective beta hemoglobin genes usually are healthy at birth but develop signs and symptoms within the first two years of life. A milder form, called thalassemia intermedia, also can result from two mutated genes.
– Blood Transfusions.Transfusions of red blood cells are the main treatment for people who have moderate or severe thalassemias.
– Iron Chelation Therapy.
The hemoglobin in red blood cells is an iron-rich protein.
– Folic Acid Supplements.
– Blood and Marrow Stem Cell Transplant.
– Possible Future Treatments.
– Web of World Health Organization (WHO);
– Web of Mayoclinic Organization ;
– Today’s (May 8, 2021) National Printed Daily Newspapers of Bangladesh ;