The World Thalassemia Day is observed on 08 May every year to commemorate the victims of thalassemia and encourage the ones who are living with this condition. The overall objective behind observance of this day is to raise awareness among people about Thalassemia, it’s treatment and management.
Objectives of the World Thalassemia Day
- Raise awareness on thalassemia and symptoms of thalassemia
- Discuss and educate about the preventive measures and vaccines available
- Redress the myths and misconceptions about vaccination
- Emphasize on the importance of pre-marriage medical consultation for people living with thalassemia
- Raise awareness about life management with thalassemia
Activities on World Thalassemia Day
Various events and activities are organized on this day to spread awareness about Thalassemia. People affected by thalassemia and their family members are encouraged to participate in such events and activities. Many non-profit organizations collaborates with hospitals to conduct awareness camps. World Thalassemia Day each year revolves around a theme and activities are accordingly organized.
World Thalassemia Day theme 2020
“The dawning of a new era for thalassemia: Time for a global effort to make novel therapies accessible and affordable to patients.”
Themes of the past years
- 2019: Universal access to quality thalassemia healthcare services: Building bridges with and for patients
- 2018: Thalassemia past, present and future: Documenting progress and patients’ needs worldwide
- 2017: Get connected! Share knowledge and experience and fight for a better tomorrow in thalassemia
- 2016: Access to Safe & Effective Drugs in Thalassemia
- 2015: Enhancing partnership towards patient-centered health systems: good health adds life to years!
What is Thalassemia?
Thalassemia is a blood related genetic disorder characterized by decrease in hemoglobin level or anemia (low RBC count/hemoglobin). Hemoglobin is contained in red blood cells (RBC) and it enables the RBC to carry oxygen from the lungs to the tissues of the body. In a thalassemia patient, this entire process is affected depending upon the severity of the condition. While a mild thalassemia can be managed without treatment, severe thalassemia may require blood transfusions at regular intervals.
Symptoms of Thalassemia
- Pale or yellowish skin
- Slow growth
- Abdominal swelling
- Dark urine
- Facial bone deformities
Prevention of Thalassemia
Thalassemia cannot be prevented in most of the cases. However, if a person has the condition or if he/she carries a thalassemia gene, help from an assisted reproductive technology expert may be taken when the carrier is opting for having a baby. The technology might help in giving birth to a healthy baby without any genetic defect.