HA NOI (VNS) — Health experts have called for more action to prevent and treat thalassaemia, a potentially fatal genetic disorder.
They were speaking at a meeting held by the National Institute of Haematology and Blood Transfusion yesterday to mark World Thalassaemia Day.
Thalassemia can result in anaemia and stunted growth. It can also damage the liver, heart and other major organs.
Severe thalassaemia, which is prevalent in the Mediterranean, the Middle East, South Asia and Africa, leads to the body making an abnormal form of haemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen. This produces anaemia. Viet Nam has more than 5.3 million people with the thalassaemia gene - and 2,000 babies with the disorder are born yearly. About 20,000 patients need regular treatment.
"Patients require lifetime treatment that causes a burden to their families and society," said institute director Nguyen Anh Tri.
"We try to lower the number of babies born with the disease through screening measures during pregnancy," said Tri. —VNS