World Thalassemia Day - 8 May

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World Thalassemia Day - 8 May

World Thalassemia Day is a global health care event, observed every year on 8 May across the globe.

An overview of the news

  • Apart from raising awareness about the disease among the local public and policy makers, the day strengthens the morale of the victims, who have been battling this deadly disease for years.

  • On this day, many local and international organisations, patient associations, public authorities, and healthcare professionals gather together to promote the importance of prenatal screening, counselling, prevention, management, or treatment of thalassemia in a patient-centred manner.

  • This year the theme on World Thalassemia Day is “Be Aware, Share, Care : Strengthening Education to bridge the Thalassemia care gap.

Background of the day

  • The first World Thalassemia Day was declared on May 8, 1994, by Panos Englezos, the president and founder of the Thalassemia International Federation (TIF). 

  • In honour of his (Panos Englezos) son George and the numerous thalassemia patients who battled this disease, Panos Englezos established this day.

About Thalassemia

  • Thalassemia is an inherited blood disorder that causes the human body to have less haemoglobin than normal. 

  • Iron deficiency is the most common and can cause extreme tiredness, shortness of breath, weakness and cold hands and feet.

  • Iron is a mineral that our body needs for growth, development and making haemoglobin.

  • Haemoglobin is a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs to all parts of the body.

  • Iron is a cofactor for neurotransmitters and is important for the synthesis and metabolism of hormones.

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