Dr.-Bharati-Pravin-Pawar ji

Dr. Bharati Pravin Pawar, Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare officially launched the third phase of the Thalassemia Bal Sewa Yojana (TBSY) of the Health Ministry on World Thalassemia Day. It is funded by Coal India Limited as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme. The Thalassemia Bal Sewa Yojana Portal was also launched by her. Additionally present were Dr. Rajiv Bahl, Secretary of the Department of Health Research, Shri Rajesh Bhushan, Secretary of the Union Health Department, Shri Anil Kumar Jha, Secretary of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs.

The National Health Mission (NHM), which the Union Health Ministry has been undertaking since 2017, has just finished its second phase, which was completed in March 2023. An innovative programme called the Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant (HSCT) programme, supported by Coal India CSR, aims to give poor Thalassemia patients who have a matched sibling donor but lack the financial means to pay for the treatment, a once-in-a-lifetime chance to be cured. In India’s 10 accredited hospitals, the program’s two phases resulted in the successful completion of 356 bone marrow transplants for Thalassemia patients.

Dr Bharati Pravin Pawar stated, “It is important to enhance screening of the disease, create more awareness and counselling opportunities, and also increase treatment facilities to fight blood disorders such as Thalassemia and sickle cell disease.” Urging various stakeholders to come forward and lend a helping hand for strengthening the fight against blood-related disorders, she stated that, “Multi-stakeholder approach will help to mobilize nationwide support for awareness and treatment for blood-related disorders.” Appreciating the efforts of partner Ministries and other stakeholders like CIL, she encouraged them to continue their efforts towards removing stigmas and misconceptions associated with such hereditary diseases and generating more awareness to address the knowledge gap surrounding sickle cell disease. She congratulated Coal India Limited (CIL) and Thalassemic India for joining the Union Health Ministry in launching the third phase of TBSY.

On this occasion, Dr. Pawar also published the Standard Treatment Workflow for Sickle Cell Disease. This was produced by ICMR. The Union Minister also emphasised the importance of utilising several initiatives of the Union Government for the treatment of diseases like sickle cell anaemia, such as the network of over 1.5 lakh Health and Wellness Centres for treatment and diagnostic care and the e-Raktkosh portal for blood transfusion requirements.

As part of the program’s third phase, CIL will continue to transfer funds directly to the institutes performing HSCT at a package cost of 10 lakhs per HSCT. The programme will help disadvantaged individuals with thalassemia and those who have aplastic anaemia, an untreatable, irreversible illness that can be fatal. Ten reputable hospitals from across India have been appointed to the programme, including among others AIIMS in New Delhi, CMC Vellore, Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital in Mumbai, MCGM Hospital in Mumbai, PGIMER in Chandigarh, Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute in New Delhi, SGPGI in Lucknow, Narayana Hrudayalaya in Bangalore, CMC in Ludhiana, and Tata Medical Centre in Kolkata.

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