Dispel doubts among tribes over sickle-cell disease test: Munda

Syllabus:  General science

Context: government tries to screen seven-crore tribal people for sickle-cell disease (SCD) and attempts to create a data bank of tribal people’s health.

  • Sickle cell disease is a group of inherited red blood cell disorders that affect hemoglobin, the protein that carries oxygen through the body.
  • It is more common in the tribal population of India, but occurs in non tribals too.
  • It causes anaemia, pain crises, reduced growth, and affects many organs like lungs, heart, kidney, eyes, bones and the brain.
  • Government’s mission to make India “free” of SCD by 2047.
  • As part of its mission, the government is trying to screen about seven-crore tribal people in 17 identified States for SCD and traits of SCD by 2025.
  • this exercise would be expanded to create a digital data bank of detailed health profiles of tribal people living in these areas to help government healthcare systems to accurately treat them.
  • Biggest challenge: suspicion among tribal population as to why government was testing their blood. It tends to create a negative impression. Need to dispel these notions and ensure maximum community involvement.

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