Sickle Cell Disease

 Sickle-shaped red blood cells contrasted with normal round cells


Why In News ?

The National Sickle Cell Anemia Elimination Mission launched in 2023, aims to eliminate sickle cell anemia from India by 2047.

India is the second-worst affected country in terms of predicted births with SCA.

About :

  • SCD is a group of inherited red blood cell (RBC) disorders. RBCs contain hemoglobin, a protein that carries oxygen and healthy RBCs are round. In SCD, the hemoglobin is abnormal, which causes the RBCs to become hard and sticky and look like a C-shaped farm tool called a “sickle.
  • It is an autosomal recessive disease or Mendelian disorder, caused by a mutation in the hemoglobin-β gene found on chromosome 11.
  • Research and screening programmes have found prevalence of haemoglobinopathies more common among tribal populations.
  • SCA is prevalent in communities residing in areas where malaria is endemic.

Transmission :

It is usually transferred from the parents carrying a defective ‘beta globin’ gene to the child during birth.

Treatment :

  • Gene Therapy.
  • Stem cells Transplant.
  • Blood Transfusion.

Elimination Methods :

  • Outreach programmes undertaken by Indian Council of Medical Research and the National Rural Health Mission.
  • A portal launched by Ministry of Tribal Affairs in order to collect all information related to SCA.
  • Distribution of “special cards” across tribal areas under National Health Mission.
  • Mission entails screening of people in the age group of 0-40 years in effective tribal areas.