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11.4pc found thalassemia carrier in Bangladesh: Survey

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In Bangladesh, 11.4 percent people aged between 14 and 35 married and unmarried are thalassemia carrier, according to a survey of Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) released here today. 

“Among the thalassemia carriers, 11.9 percent are male while 11.2 are female,” Ligen Shah Nayeem, focal point official of BBS, told the report dissemination programme of the National Thalassemia-2024 in the auditorium of BBS.

State Minister for Planning Md Shahiduzzaman Sarker, Secretary of Statistics and Informatics Division Dr Shahnaz Arefin, Additional Secretary of Health Service Division Muhammad Wahiduzzaman, among others, addressed the function with BBS Director General Mohammad Mizanur Rahman in the chair.

President of Bangladesh Thalassamia Samity Eng MA Matin, Scientist of Non-Communicable Disease of ICDDR’B Dr Aliya Naheed, hematologists and officials of relevant organisation joined the open discussion on the survey report on thalassamia at the programme.

Nayeem said, “Under the national thalassemia survey, 8,680 people were selected for detecting presence of thalassamia. Of them, blood samples were collected from 7,979 people.”

After screening of the blood sample, 11.4 people were found thalassamia carrier, he said 11.6 percent thalassamia carriers have been detected in rural areas while 11 percent thalassamia carrier people are found in urban setting.

According to the health experts, thalassemia is an inherited blood disorder that affects your body’s ability to produce hemoglobin and healthy red blood cells.

Types include alpha and beta thalassemia, they said, adding thalassemia may cause you to experience anemia-like symptoms that range from mild to severe.  Treatment can consist of blood transfusions and iron chelation therapy. 

The state minister said, “The initiative of thalassemia survey is time-befitting step of BBS. Although the survey is carried out in a limited scale, it will keep huge impact on health, planning and other sectors.”

“The government has attached priority to five diseases,” he said, adding that thalassemia is one of the five diseases. 

Shahiduzzaman urged the relevant organisations and the health ministry to launch massive awareness campaign on thalassemia among the people, which eventually will make the country free from the disease.

He also said authorities of all public hospitals, health complexes and community clinics must ensure screening of blood to know the presence of thalassameia.

Other health experts laid emphasis on screening of blood before getting marriage to make Bangladesh thalassameia-free country. Explaining nature of thalassemia, they said babies are born with thalessamia diseases, if parents are carrier of it.

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