Chhattisgarh’s mobile clinics to battle disease


Raipur : Chhattisgarh will launch mobile clinics to provide free medical support to an estimated three million people hit by sickle cell anaemia, Health Minister Amar Agrawal said Wednesday.

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“The disease has attained alarming proportions in the state, with more than 50 percent of affected children dying before the age of five and many others in the prime of their youth,” the minister told IANS.

Sickle cell anaemia is a disorder of the blood caused by an inherited abnormal hemoglobin, an oxygen-carrying protein in the red blood cells.

“We need to reach the affected families to care for them medically and to provide counselling, (tell them) what they should do to stop transmitting the disease to their children,” Agrawal said.

“We have decided to counter the rising threat with the launch of mobile clinics June 19. The clinics will have all necessary medical equipment as well as a doctor, health counsellor and a technician.

“These will reach the affected areas to offer medical assistance plus counselling free of cost,” he said.

The government has set up a Centre for Genetic Diseases and Molecular Biology to control the disease. The Centre has launched the Chhattisgarh Sickle Cell Screening Project to take blood samples.

“Nearly three million people out of the state’s 20 million population are said to be either sickle cell carriers or suffering from the disease which is a genetic disorder that can be life threatening,” Pradeep Kumar Patra, who heads the centre, told IANS.

He said the centre was screening people in the age group of 3-15 to detect the disease early.

Patra said though the disorder was prevalent in all 18 districts of the state, it was alarming in 10 that have a high population of Other Backward Classes (OBC) and tribes.

He said: “The problem in rural areas is that people are not much aware of the disease.”