May 8 marks International Thalassemia Day every year. The day is observed to spread awareness about the rare blood-related medical condition. This genetic disorder causes the body to have less haemoglobin than normal. Haemoglobin allows the red blood cells to carry oxygen in our blood. Thalassemia can also cause conditions like anaemia.
International Thalassemia Day was initiated in 1994 by the Thalassemia International Federation (TIF), which has worked in a unified alliance with the World Health Organisation (WHO) since 1996, to conduct various awareness activities on the annual occasion. There are several misconceptions and false information associated with this rare blood disorder. Let us take a look at some of them:
- Thalassemia patients are often exhausted and dull
This may sound like a fact related to the medical condition however, it is not true. The affected patients are provided with optimal medical care, they can overcome fatigue resulting from anaemia, and lead a normal healthy life even into adulthood.
- Parents with thalassemia will always have children with the disease
Although thalassemia is a genetic condition, it is not certain that the child will be inheriting the condition. It is only when both parents carry the haemoglobin-linked genes associated with the condition, there is a 25 percent chance that the child will be born with thalassemia. When only one parent has defective genes, the condition of thalassemia is not passed on to the child.
- Thalassemia is not curable
This statement is also false, since treatments like Bone Marrow Transplant have been seen as an effective cure for thalassemia patients. However, the procedure is sophisticated and prone to complications and health risks. It is also quite expensive.
- Thalassemia cannot be treated with therapy
Those with thalassemia can lead a healthy life when supplied with advanced medical treatment, adequate blood transfusions and iron chelation therapy. These remedial procedures incur step costs.
Donate your blood to blood banks to support such treatments for patients with thalassemia.