NATIONAL SICKLE CELL ANAEMIA ELIMINATION MISSION
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- Prime Minister Modi is expected to launch National Sickle Cell Anaemia Elimination Mission on June 27 from Madhya Pradesh.
READ ALL ABOUT SICKLE CELL DISEASE: https://www.iasgyan.in/daily-current-affairs/world-sickle-cell-awareness-day
National Sickle Cell Anaemia Elimination Mission
- The National Sickle Cell Anaemia Elimination Mission was introduced as part of the Union Budget 2023.
- To improve care of all Sickle Cell Disease patients for their better future and to lower the prevalence of the disease through multi-faced coordinated approach towards screening and awareness strategies.
- To Eliminate sickle cell disease as a public health problem in India before 2047 there is a need for increasing awareness about the disease in the community, implementing mass screening activities for early identification, building a strong network of diagnosis and linkages, implementing robust monitoring system, strengthening the existing primary health care mechanism to incorporate SCD related strategies, capacity building of primary, secondary and tertiary health care teams and building cost-effective intensive interventions at higher care facilities.
Aim of the Mission
- The Mission has been designed to tackle the urgent health challenges associated with sickle cell disease, particularly among the tribal population.
- The overall aim is to enable access to affordable and quality health care to all SCD patients, and to lower the prevalence through awareness, change of practices and screening interventions.
Objectives of the Mission:
- Provision of affordable and accessible care to all SCD patients
- To ensure quality of care for SCD patients
- To reduce the prevalence of SCD
- The objectives would be attained through strategies spanning awareness generation, strengthening of screening and testing facilities, strengthening of laboratory services for diagnosis, facilitation of management & treatment, establishing linkages across level of care, inter sectoral convergence towards holistic approach and linkages with social security schemes/benefit packages.
The strategy emphasizes on THREE pillars:
- Health promotion- Awareness generation & pre-marital genetic counselling
- Prevention: Universal screening and early detection
- Holistic Management & continuum of care-
- Management of persons with sickle cell disease at primary, secondary and tertiary health care levels; treatment facilities at tertiary health care facilities
- Patient support system
- Community adoption.
- The program shall be carried out in a mission mode covering the entire population from zero to 18 years of age and shall incrementally include the entire population up to 40 years as a part of National Health Mission and shall focus on universal population-based screening, prevention, and management of sickle cell anemia in all tribal and other high prevalent areas States/UTs of India.
- While in its initial stage, the mission would prioritize its intervention in high prevalence and tribal states/UT, the plan would subsequently expand to include all states/UTs in a phase-wise manner with an incremental approach. The mission aims to cover 7 crore people with screening, counselling for prevention and care for people with SCD in three and half years.
- National Sickle Cell Anaemia Elimination Mission will be implemented across 278 districts in 17 states of focus.
- These states include Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Assam, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Bihar, and Uttarakhand.
Significance of the Mission
- The initiation of this mission will serve as a significant milestone in the government's continuous endeavours to eliminate sickle cell disease as a public health concern by 2047.
ADDRESSING THE CHALLENGE OF SICKLE CELL ANAEMIA
The only cure for sickle cell anaemia is a stem cell transplant, which is a costly and complex procedure. Furthermore, the lack of public awareness, limited access to healthcare, and inadequate medical facilities contribute to the high morbidity and mortality rates associated with the disease.
To address this issue, the government and private sector need to collaborate to make the treatment affordable, accessible, and available to those in need.
Screening is an important tool in the prevention of the disease, and the government has a crucial role to play in increasing awareness and providing access to screening through large-scale screening camps along with prenatal diagnosis and marriage counseling, that two people with the same gene/condition should not have children together. This is how the disease can be prevented from passing on to the next generation if it is prevented in the current generation.
Another key measure is the focus on the creation of the ‘National Sickle Cell Anaemia Database and Registry’, which could also be a step forward to achieving the eradication of the disease. A closer look at the existing infrastructure and implementation of existing schemes for a life-threatening blood disorder is required. Mobilization of resources to marginalized sections of society.
More funds should be allocated to research on medications that can combat the disease’s lifetime.
These collective efforts will pave the way to the elimination of the disease by 2047, the goal outlined as a national mission in the Union budget 2023 by the Government of India.
Q. Sickle cell Anaemia is a major health concern that affects millions of people in India, yet the burden of this hereditary blood disorder remains largely unacknowledged. What are the challenges in tackling the menace of Sickle cell Anaemia? Suggest measures that can pave the way to the elimination of the disease by 2047, the goal outlined as a national mission in the Union budget 2023 by the Government of India.