The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in association with the department of biotechnology of Bodoland University will conduct a programme on screening and management of sickle cell disease in Udalguri district.

The program is part of a national-level research cum intervention project entitled “Improving the Capacity of Health System and Community for Sickle cell disease Screening and Management in Scheduled Tribal Population: An Intervention Study”.

The study is being conducted in different districts in the country, including Udalguri since August 2016.

Sickle cell disease is a common hereditary blood disorder present in many tribes of the country. It refers to a group of disorders that affects hemoglobin, the molecule in red blood cells that delivers oxygen throughout the body. It causes red blood cells to form into a crescent shape that clump together and stick to the walls of blood vessels, thereby blocking blood flow. The cells break apart easily, causing anaemia.

The ICMR sponsored program was inaugurated at Dimakuchi College in Udalguri on Wednesday

Principal investigator, ICMR-NTF project head, Jatin Sarmah said, “Inherited genetic or rare diseases refer to medical conditions that affect a small percentage of the population, but has vast, debilitating and often life-threatening effects on the patients, many of who are children.”

“Treatments of sickle cell disease have long been neglected by the traditional pharmaceutical industry because of the notion that it will have uncertain commercial outcomes given the smaller size of the affected population,” said Sarma who also heads Bodoland University’s department of biotechnology.

Paneri legislator,Kamali Basumatary also released the information, education and communication materials and handed over medical equipment to the Paneri and Dimakuchi primary health centres, where the project will be implemented.

Shajid Khan

Shajid Khan is Northeast Now Correspondent in Udalguri. He can be reached at: itsshajidkhan@gmail.com