The government will roll out a mission to eliminate Sickle Cell Anaemia (SCA) by 2047, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced in her Union Budget 2023-24 speech on Wednesday. Follow Live Updates Here
Announcing initiatives for the health sector, the Finance Minister told Parliament, “The mission will entail awareness creation, universal screening of seven crore people in the age group of 0-40 years in effective tribal areas and counselling through collaborative efforts of central ministries and State governments.”
Earlier in the day, the Union Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the Budget for the fiscal year 2023-24 (April 2023 to March 2024), which was followed by its presentation in the Lok Sabha by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. Regarding other initiatives in the health sector, the Finance Minister announced that facilities of select Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) labs will be made available for private research and development teams.
What is Sickle Cell Anaemia?
Sickle Cell Anaemia is a common genetic disorder among Indians affecting the red blood cells. It is transmitted by parents carrying a defective ‘beta globin’ gene. The disease starts early in life. Those affected have persistent pain, low amount of haemoglobin, low energy, reduced growth along with other abnormalities and multiple episodes of frequent severe pain.
Like most genetic disorders, SCA has no cure but has symptomatic treatments for pain, anaemia and vaso-occlusive crisis.
The disease is well-known in tribal populations as well as prevalent in general populations in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Odisha. Around 0.4% of the population suffer from SCA, while 10% are carriers who lead to birth of new patients.