New Delhi, Oct 14 (PTI) Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Wednesday launched the second phase of a Coal India CSR initiative to provide financial assistance for treatment of underprivileged thalassemic patients.
Launched in 2017, the Thalassemia Bal Sewa Yojana is a hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) programme that aims to provide a one-time cure opportunity for haemoglobinopathies like thalassaemia and sickle cell disease for patients who have a matched family donor.
The CSR initiative was targeted to provide financial assistance to a total of 200 patients by providing a package cost not exceeding Rs 10 lakh per HSCT.
Vardhan congratulated the doctors of SGPGI Lucknow, PGI Chandigarh, AIIMS Delhi, CMC Vellore, Tata Medical Centre in Kolkata and Rajeev Gandhi Cancer Institute, Delhi for the successful transplantation of 135 children without charging any physician fee, according to a Health Ministry statement.
'Data on the prevalence of silent carriers for various haemoglobinopathies show that it is 2.9-4.6 per cent for β-Thalassemia, while it can be as high as 40 per cent for sickle cell anaemia especially among the tribal population. Haemoglobin variants like HBE in eastern India can be as common as 3-50 per cent which calls for more attention to these diseases,' he was quoted as saying in the statement.
He also acknowledged CMC, Ludhiana and Narayan Hrudayalaya, Bangalore who have agreed to provide this advanced care therapy from 2020.
Expressing gratitude to Coal India and their CSR team for providing such opportunity to the BPL patients suffering from haematological disorders and extending the support for another two years from 2020, Vardhan mentioned the issue of high out-of-pocket-expenditure on health services in India.
'People go bankrupt selling ancestral land and the last property paying for their treatment. It is precisely that pain that moved Prime Minister Narendra Modi to introduce the Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana for targeted populace,” he said.
Expressing satisfaction that the scheme has been extended to cover aplastic anaemia patients for a total of 200 such patients from this year, he said, “Such cases can be prevented by counselling using the Ayushman Bharat –Health and Wellness Centres network. We have made blood transfusion facilities available in every district hospital while some districts also offer the facility in health centres at sub-district level.” PTI PLB SMN SMN