Observing World Sickle Cell Day today, Union Minister of Tribal Affairs Shri Arjun Munda chaired a Sensitization Workshop on Sickle Cell Anaemia Disease, organised at the National Tribal Research Institute in New Delhi.

Sickle Cell Disease (SCD), a genetic condition, is widespread among the tribal population in India where it is estimated that about 1 in 86 births among STs have SCD. Even the son of Mr Munda suffered from Sickle Cell Disease.

The disease affects hemoglobin (responsible for carrying oxygen in the body) in red blood cells, which can result in morbidity and mortality via distinct pathways. Therefore, early detection, management, and treatment of SCD is of utmost importance to enable the affected individuals to lead a long and fulfilling life. The elimination of the disease is extremely significant for the general health conditions of the nation.

In order to discuss recent developments in the management of Sickle Cell conditions, including early detection and new treatments, the workshop brought together a group of experts on the condition from throughout India.

Taking note of the importance of this day, Minister appealed, “Under the visionary guidance of the Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, Sickle Cell Elimination has been undertaken in the mission mode by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs; however, all of us need to make a collaborative effort to address this issue by working at the individual level to educate people about the disease, especially at the grassroots level. 

I appeal to all the medical experts, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Ministry of Ayush, Health Organisations, Health Departments to give impetus to the cause of good health for tribals and ensure that quality healthcare is provided to those affected by this disease to create a positive impact in the health of the tribal population.” 

Further, he urged state governments to cooperate in this goal by ensuring proper infrastructure and facilities. “We need to ensure that individuals -- especially women and children -- are free from this disease and it doesn’t impact the coming generation,” he added. 

Shri Munda also assured that the Ministry would continue to work with the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare along with other relevant ministries, government officials, stakeholders, clinicians and experts for the prevention, control, and management of sickle cell disease.

The welcome address was delivered by Shri Anil Kumar Jha, Secretary, Ministry of Tribal Affairs.

Secretary, MoTA remarked, “We are committed to working in a mission mode for the control and successful eradication of the SCD. We are involving various medical experts, stakeholders and NGOs for counselling, and diagnosis as well as Primary Healthcare Systems to maximise our outreach through various Ministries.”

Smt. R Jaya, Addl. Secretary, MoTA, Shri Naval Jit Kapoor, Joint Secretary, officials of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs and MoHFW, medical experts and various stakeholders were also present on the occasion. 

The Workshop featured discussions and various sessions by Medical Experts as well as experience sharing by officials and subject matter experts at the venue.


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