Ministry of Tribal Affairs

On the occasion of World Sickle Cell Day, Union Tribal Affairs Minister Shri Jual Oram to preside over the National Conclave on Awareness Generation on Sickle Cell Disease, in New Delhi tomorrow

Posted On: 18 JUN 2024 9:16PM by PIB Delhi

With the aim to create awareness and halt inter-generational transmission of the Sickle Cell Disease (SCD), the Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MoTA) and the knowledge partner Birsa Munda Centre, AIIMS Delhi is organising a National Conclave for awareness generation on SCD, on the occasion of World Sickle Cell Day, in New Delhi tomorrow. Union Tribal Affairs Minister Shri Jual Oram would be presiding over the event as the chief guest and Minister of State for Tribal Affairs, Shri D.D. Uikey would be the guest of honour.

SCD refers to a group of inherited blood disorders, wherein a genetic mutation causes abnormal haemoglobin to clump together, causing the red blood cells to turn sickle shaped. These sickle-shaped cells cause blockages in the blood flow, which can lead to anaemia, pain, infections and other severe complications. Individuals with sickle cell trait carry only one defective gene and typically live normal lives, but they can pass the gene to their children. Therefore, it is advisable for all adults and newborns to undergo a medical screening for sickle cell disease and sickle cell trait.

In his message on the eve of the World Sickle Cell Day, Shri Oram encouraged people to participate in the country-wide awareness generation campaign on the SCD and get screened for it, so that its spread can be prevented through early detection.

Government of India embarked on the ‘Mission for Elimination of SCD by 2047’, with Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi launching the National Sickle Cell Anaemia Elimination Mission from Shahdol, Madhya Pradesh on 1st July, 2023. The mission entails awareness creation, universal screening of 7 crore people in the age group of 0-40 years in the affected tribal areas. The programme is being carried out in a mission mode for screening, prevention, and management of sickle cell anemia in all tribal and other high prevalent areas States/UTs of India. The focus is on tribal dominated districts of 17 states with higher prevalence of the disease. About 1 in 86 births among Scheduled Tribe (ST) population have SCD, the prevalence being higher in Central, Western and Southern India. It is predominantly prevalent in Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, western Odisha, eastern Gujarat and in pockets of the Nilgiri Hills in north Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Till date, more than 3 crore people have been screened for Sickle Cell Disease under the National Sickle Cell Anaemia Elimination Mission.

The National Sickle Cell Anaemia Elimination Mission is a sub mission of National Health Mission, wherein the Ministry of Tribal Affairs has a pivotal role to play in raising awareness and producing counselling material about this debilitating disease, with special emphasis on tribal areas. On 29th August 2023, the Union Minister of Tribal Affairs launched the ‘Awareness Campaign and Training of Trainers’ as part of the ‘Mission for Elimination of Sickle Cell Anaemia'. The programme envisages training of grassroot level functionaries so as to create awareness in this direction among the masses, especially in tribal regions.

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