World Thalassaemia Day or International Thalassaemia Day is observed every year on 8 May in honour of all patients suffering from Thalassaemia and for their parents who have never lost hope for life, despite the burden of their disease. This day also encourages those who struggle to live with the disease. 

What is Thalassaemia Disease?
It is an inherited blood disorder which passes from parents to children. There are several types of thalassaemia disease and its treatment depends on its types and severity. In this disease, the ability of the body to produce haemoglobin and red blood cells gets affected. Or we can say that a person suffering from thalassaemia disease will have a few red blood cells and very little haemoglobin. Its impact may range from mild to severe and life-threatening also. This disease is most common with the Mediterranean, South Asian and African ancestry.

So, this day is dedicated to the patients suffering from thalassaemia disease and provides them a special chance to live like a normal person and also to prevent the spread of the disease in the society, state, community, country etc.

Theme of World Thalassaemia Day 2020

World Thalassaemia Day theme 2020 is ‘’The dawning of a new era for thalassaemia: Time for a global effort to make novel therapies accessible and affordable to patients”.

World Thalassaemia Day theme 2019 was “Universal access to quality thalassaemia healthcare services: Building bridges with and for patient”.

3 online competitions were organised by the Thalassaemia International Federation (TIF) across the world according to the 2019 theme. The competitions include a video challenge, a photo contest and a story competition. It showcases the solidarity with the patient suffering from the disease. In several hospitals around the world, seminars were conducted, discussions and talks to devise the new techniques and medication to fight this inherited disease. Several awareness campaigns and free screening camps were also organised to spread awareness about the disease among the people.

The theme for 2018 was: “Thalassaemia past, present and future: Documenting progress and patients’ needs worldwide”.

The theme for 2017 was “Get connected! Share knowledge and experience and fight for a better tomorrow in thalassaemia”.

The theme for 2016 was “Access to Safe & Effective Drugs in Thalassaemia”.

The theme for 2015 was “Enhancing partnership towards patient-centred health systems: good health adds life to years!”

How is World Thalassaemia Day celebrated?
Several activities and events are organised in public places like schools, colleges, educational institutions to aware people about the disease, its symptoms and preventive measures. Also, patients and their family members are encouraged to participate in the event to gain knowledge about the disease. Let us tell you that the Thalassaemia International Federation (TIF) is a non-profit and non-governmental patient-driven organisation which actively involves in organising the celebration of the event with the associated members in several countries.  Not only this even the World Health Organisation and other health bodies focus on the basic rights of the patients suffering from thalassaemia disease.

Posters and banners are also prepared to make people aware. Several activities like debates on health-related subjects, discussion about thalassaemia disease about the patient’s quality of life etc. are also organised. TIF also spread information about hemoglobinopathies, haemoglobin disorders and iron deficiency among the people especially young ones. Even educational materials about thalassaemia disease are also distributed among people and youth.

World Thalassaemia Day: Objective

– To raise awareness about the disease, its symptoms and ways to live with it.
– If a person is suffering from thalassaemia, to raise awareness that before marriage it is important to consult a doctor.
– To raise awareness about the importance of vaccination for children’s health, society and the whole world.
– Redress misconceptions about vaccinations.

Symptoms of Thalassaemia disease

– Drowsiness and Fatigue
– Chest pain
– Shortness of breath
– Delayed growth
– Headaches
– Jaundice and pale skin
– Dizziness and faintness
– Greater susceptibility to infections etc.

So, we can say that thalassaemia is an inherited disease and World Thalassaemia Day is celebrated on 8 May to increase awareness among the common people about this disease, its symptoms and preventive measures.

Source: National Health Portal of India, The Hindu, The Economic Times.

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