Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his Chhattisgarh visit on Thursday, distributed one lakh Sickle Cell counseling cards to the screened population. The distribution was part of the Centre's National Sickle Cell Anaemia Elimination Mission (NSAEM) which was launched by PM Modi in July 2023 in MP's Shahdol. "The National campaign has been started to get rid of sickle cell anemia. Our resolution is to get rid of this disease," PM Modi said. 

In the Union Budget presented in February earlier this year, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the mission will be launched with an aim to rid India with the disease completely by 2047. 

What is Sickle Cell disease Centre wants to eliminate by 2047?

According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Sickle Cell Disease is a group of inherited red blood disorders. Patients of this disease have their red blood cells in the shape of a 'sickle' instead of the usual round shaped which leads to the clogging of blood flow.

Those having SCD have an abnormal level of hemoglobin, the protein which carries oxygen in blood and this makes the red blood cells hard and sticky and changes their shape. The disease also causes the sickle cells to die early which leads to the lack of red blood cells plus their shape get stuck when the blood flows through small blood vessels.

Symptoms and treatment of SCD

The Sickle Cell Disease leads to a condition called anemia when there is not enough red blood cells to carry oxygen in a person and it causes symptoms like fast heart rate, difficulty in breathing, pale skin colour, slow growth, dizziness, irritability, jaundince and delayed puberty. 

The SCD is a genetic disease which is passed on to the child by parents having genes that code for abnormal hemoglobin. According to CDC, the complications can be avoided by making lifestyle changes but a bone marrow or stem cell transplant is the only way to cure the disease in extreme cases. Blood transfusions may also be used to treat severe anemia, per the CDC.

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