IN AN effort to eradicate sickle cell anemia (SCA) from the tribal districts of Gujarat, the state Health Department will set up a Sickle Cell Anaemia Society (SCAS) in a few months.
The department held a meeting last month, which was attended by Health Minister Jaynarayan Vyas and the state tribal minister, to frame the board of members for the Society.
“Health officials met to frame the board of members so that this congenital disease can be eradicated as much as possible,” Vyas told The Indian Express.
Health officials said the department will soon apply for registration of SCAS under the Registration of Society Act.
Dr S J Gandhi, SCA Control Programme coordinator, said: “The society is being formed to diagnose SCA cases for its treatment and management of critical ones. We have also decided to set up a first-of-its-kind stem cells laboratory for SCA case at the Surat Medical College.”
He added that the board members have already been selected and a formal announcement of the same will be made after SCAS is formed.
“The Society aims to constitute structure for neonatal, adolescent and antenatal screenings so that the department can focus on SCA traits and the required action is taken as early as possible.”
He added: “ The objective is to control the disease in five predominant tribal districts in south Gujarat and tribal pockets of seven districts in north Gujarat.”
At present, there are three agencies funding to eradicate the disease.
The state has allocated Rs 75 lakh which is in continuum, Rs 902 lakh have been allocated under the National Rural Health Mission, while the tribal department also allots funds under different heads.