29th June 2024 Mumbai, Maharashtra, India To promote health awareness and provide the necessary knowledge to the community, a health and screening camp on Sickle Cell Disease was organized by Surya Hospitals in the rural village of Vasai, Maharashtra recently.

Surya Hospitals

The event featured educational talks by Dr. Vandana Bansal and Dr. Nisha Iyer, which reached over 100 students. Additionally, Adivasi residents at the camp were tested for the HPLB gene to evaluate their susceptibility to Sickle cell disease. Participants also had the opportunity to consult with doctors and receive valuable information on preventive care and healthy lifestyle choices.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Vandana Bansal, Director, Department of Fetal Medicine, Consultant Obstetrics & Gynecology, Surya Hospitals said, “Sickle Cell Disease is a genetic hemoglobin disorder common amongst the tribal population of India. According to the census, Scheduled Tribes constitute 8.6 per cent of the country’s total population and 11.3 per cent of the total rural population. Requiring lifelong management, Sickle Cell Disease contributes to significant morbidity and mortality amongst the affected infants and children. In India, there are many comprehensive guidelines for prevention of the disease developed jointly by the Government of Health and Family Welfare and the Government of Tribal Affairs. But because of lack of awareness those guidelines are not fructified. So, we have organized the camp to make people understand and give them a basic knowledge about the disease. Hope, through this initiative, we can strengthen our commitment to combating this disease.”

Dr. Nisha Iyer, Pediatric Hemato Oncologist and BMT Physician, Surya Hospitals stated, “The initiative aimed to enhance health literacy among college students and the Adivasi population, identifying individuals at risk of Sickle cell disease. Regular health screenings are important for early detection and prevention of diseases. Events like these play a vital role in promoting overall well-being and empowering individuals to take charge of their health.” She also added, “The success of the camp would not have been possible without the support of volunteers, and community members who came together with us to make this camp a reality. We, Surya Hospitals, extends its gratitude to all those who contributed to the success of the health camp.”

Sickle Cell is an inherited blood type disease in which a genetic mutation causes abnormal hemoglobin to clump together and soften red blood cells. Sickle cells cause blood clots, leading to bleeding, pain, infections and other serious problems. People with sickle cell disease carry only one defective gene and usually live normal lives, but they can pass that gene on to their children. Therefore, adults and newborns must undergo medical examinations for the disease.