Thalassemia disease poses health burden in BD significantly
A tired and anemic thirteen-year-old Rafi was seated on a bench of a ground. Destiny has barred Rafi to lead a life like other normal children as he is often being faced with horrific experiences of Thalassemia, a blood disorder which requires transfusions every other week to keep him healthy and alive. It did not make him feel happy witnessing many children playing on the ground.
Living a delightful childhood is a rarity in the life of teenager Rafi who told that he was born with thalassemia, that creates a lot of complications, especially transfusion-related iron overload which requires a daily drug treatment. Sometimes it can be scary knowing that excess iron will damage patient's heart and liver. Rafi was looking bored as he was not able to run or play like other children.
He is one of the thousands of examples of Thalassemia disease, which is the most common congenital disorder in Bangladesh. The Thalassemia disease disorder poses a significant health burden in Bangladesh and it is estimated that nearly 7000 Thalassemic children are born every year in the country. Among the Thalassemia patients, few among them are optimally managed.
Thalassemia Center of Dhaka Shishu Hospital President Dr A Wakar Khan said Thalassemia not only affects children, it also creates psychological and social problems in the family. To prevent life-long agony, all couples must get a genetic test before planning a child, he added.
Dr Khan said Thalassemia is an inherited blood deficiency disorder that stops children's growth and makes them weak. If the child inherits the gene defect from both parents, it develops Thalassemia major. Avoiding marriage between two Thalassemia carriers may prevent the disease in children, he added.
Children with the disorder suffer from lack of oxygen as the body fails to produce adequate amounts of Haemoglobin. As a result, the child becomes weak and loses stamina. -BSS