• World Thalassemia Day is observed on May 8th to raise awareness about the genetic disorder called Thalassemia.
  • The theme for this year’s International Thalassemia Day is “Strengthening Education to Bridge the Thalassemia Care Gap.”
  • The Thalassemia International Federation (TIF), a non-profit organization, established and organized the first World Thalassemia Day in 1994.

About Thalassemia

  • Thalassemia is a genetic blood disorder that affects the production of haemoglobin, the protein that carries oxygen in the blood.
  • Haemoglobin is made up of two types of proteins, alpha and beta globin.
  • Individuals with Thalassemia have a mutation in one or both of the genes responsible for producing alpha or beta globin, resulting in reduced or absent production of one or both types of globin.
  • This leads to a shortage of haemoglobin, causing anaemia and other related complications.
  • There are two main types of Thalassemia: alpha Thalassemia and beta Thalassemia.
    • Alpha Thalassemia occurs when there is a problem with the alpha globin gene, resulting in a reduced production of alpha globin.
    • Beta Thalassemia, on the other hand, occurs when there is a problem with the beta globin gene, leading to reduced or absent production of beta globin.
  • The disorder is most commonly found in populations from the Mediterranean, Middle East, and Southeast Asia.
  • There is currently no cure for Thalassemia, but treatment options include blood transfusions, bone marrow transplants, and gene therapy.
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