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Is your child suffering from Fatigue? Feeling weak? Or having abdominal swelling? Is he complaining about having dark urine? Then, dear parents, this is high time you must consult a doctor as these are the symptoms of Thalassemia. When I say “Thalassemia,” please don’t be panic-stricken. As there is always the other way around, and you are not alone in this. Did you know worldwide, 350,000 new cases of Thalassemia diagnosed every year? Out of them, 10.5 million patients diagnosed with Thalassemia get cured worldwide. We all have come across this term Thalassemia, and have seen a large vulnerable group of children and young adults often are TIED, TRIED, and TIRED for life. But what is this “Thalassemia disease” and why is 8th May celebrated as “International Thalassemia Day”?
These patients become highly exhausted from repeated tests, pokes, multiple pricks for vein accessibility, doctors, visits, and daily medicines. Only a handful of people know what exactly it means, its remedies, and the reason behind celebrating World Thalassemia Day.
So what is this disease and how does it cause? To make it simple, it’s a blood disorder caused when your body is unable to produce enough of protein called Hemoglobin due to which the red blood cells stop working properly. They last shorter periods, so there are fewer healthy red blood cells traveling in the bloodstream.
A person inherits this genetic abnormality from their parents. If any one of the parents is a carrier for Thalassemia, then his/her offspring may develop a form of the disease known as thalassemia minor. Now there’s a twist. If someone is thalassemia minor, they might not have any symptoms, but he/she will be a carrier. Some people with Thalassemia develop minor symptoms. If both the parents are carriers of Thalassemia, the child will have a much greater chance of inheriting a more severe form of the disease. However, this blood-oriented disease has different stages that determine its severity. In general, people suffering from some of the milder forms of Thalassemia may not need treatment. Still, severe forms of this blood disorder can be life-threatening, and patients will need immediate treatment.
We know that it’s hard to raise a child with Thalassemia. But guess what? It’s rewarding in disguise too. It teaches people to deal with many difficult situations and helps them gain a lot of knowledge. You must have come across many such patients who are still under routine checkups, still get pokes and pricks multiple times for vein accessibility. What do you think? Do these thalassemia patients have a choice? Do they have a SAY? Can we do something for them?? Of Course, we can! If you want to be a helping hand, donate your blood this International Thalassemia Day and become a hero in three people’s lives-you, the parents of the patient, and the patient himself. Your 15 minutes can save someone’s life!
The purpose of celebrating 8th May as International Thalassemia day is due to the need to spread knowledge and awareness among the masses, to motivate the youth so that they can go for tests before they transmit the disease to their offspring, and also undergo treatment before it’s too late. Most importantly, this day has two reasons to serve:
1. To encourage the government to come up with health care facilities to help the affected.
2. To create awareness and bring the disease to the attention of key decision-makers at the global level so the opportunities for thalassemia children can be increased.
Do you know, South Asia is the hotspot of Thalassemia, with an estimated 200,000 patients whose lives depend on regular blood transfusion?
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, India has adopted partial to total lockdown to minimize the spread of transmission. Despite the huge progress made over the past few decades, still more needs to be done. Millions of thalassemia patients around the world are financially so weak that they cannot afford treatment. Hence, there is an urgent need for improved access to quality, affordable and safe healthcare to service for them. Hence, International Thalassemia day provides a unique opportunity to make a massive call to action for easily accessible, affordable, equitable, and quality universal health coverage for all thalassemia patients across the globe.
Restriction of nationwide human mobility and fear of COVID-19 infection has put people in a life-threatening situation because of an acute shortage of oxygen supply. As a public health preparedness strategy during a crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic, the plights of thalassemia patients should be considered. Keeping this in mind, practo – one of the world’s leading healthcare platforms, has come up with some home remedies to help patients combat mild Thalassemia.
People suffering from severity should consult the doctor. But we would like to suggest people having a mild one to change their lifestyle by changing their diet too. However, here are some foods to avoid if someone has Thalassemia:
Since most thalassemia kids suffer from weak bones, offering them calcium-rich foods such as milk, eggs, spinach, etc., will do good. Also, please make sure your champs get enough vitamin D to keep themselves safe from such disease. And to do this, they simply need to take a sunbathe for a minimum of 10 minutes early in the morning
Consuming bananas, sweet potatoes, lentils, and beetroot can reduce the symptoms of thalassemia. This is because these foods have folic acid that can help in producing more red blood cells. All your child needs to do is consume two large bananas daily, which will do the trick. Also, don’t forget to make it a point to consult the doctor, and he/she will put you on a planned diet.
The other name of Tulsi is holy basil because of its multiple properties for the human body. There are a load of health benefits such as good for diabetics, reduces stress, depression, and anxiety. Well, if children/adults are suffering from thalassemia, then consuming Tulsi juice is a must. But most of the parents often undergo a common struggle: the struggle to make their champs drink this juice. Well, down are the solutions!
First, wash the fresh Tulsi leaves and add them with water in a food processor or blender and mix until a fine paste has formed. Then strain the mixture into a cup using a fine-mesh strainer, pressing to release the juice from the plant matter.
Wheatgrass juice is extremely beneficial in the cases of Thalassemia, Thalassemia if a person starts taking wheatgrass juice on an empty stomach and in the evening. What else could be the best other than growing wheatgrass at home? Clean the grass as it grows till one finger and make its juice. Help the patient drink this juice fresh immediately after straining, as it starts to lose its efficacy after 15 minutes.
It’s always helpful to have a positive outlook while supporting children in this. A normal visit to counselors can help parents and their children deal with any worries or concerns. These days, many hospitals conduct child life programs to help them cope with illness. A hospital social worker can also answer questions and refer you to other support services if needed.
Learning more about a child’s condition and its treatments can help people feel more in control. According to the Union ministry of health and family welfare, India has the largest number of children with Thalassemia Major globally – about 150,000. There are almost 42 million carriers of the beta-thalassemia trait. Come on; we don’t have to be a doctor to save a life; we can always save one by donating blood. -Not all heroes wear capes; some donate blood. So come, on this International Thalassemia Day, we do a bit of donating just a few drops.
“Kuch karke dekho, accha lagta hai”!
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