Visakhapatnam: Marriage is not easy for sickle cell disease (SCD) carriers. Those having SCD gene cannot marry another person carrying the same gene, but can marry a normal person. This is where the problem starts.
Sickle cell disease (SCD) or sickle cell anaemia is an inherited blood disorder that causes red blood cells to malfunction and break. The cells die prematurely, leaving a shortage of healthy red blood cells. Symptoms of infections are pain and fatigue.
Healthy people are not ready to marry SCD carriers though medical experts say such marriages are fine.
Andhra University Human Genetics (AUHG) department professor, G Sudhakar, called for awareness programmes by NGOs and governmental agencies to tackle this social issue.
AUHG is one of the six institutions selected by the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) to undertake the national task-force project on SCD screening and management. Other institutions are from Gujarat, Odisha, Karnataka, Assam and Madhya Pradesh.
“In our ICMR study, we identified about 15-20 per cent as SCD carriers out of 5,000 odd samples from around 150 tribal villages under four primary health centers in Visakhapatnam region. “Most of them are young. A carrier cannot marry another carrier, but can marry a healthy person. But, healthy people are not ready to marry them because of a lurking fear.”
“Here, social awareness and orientation programmes are essential,” Prof. Sudhakar, principal investigator to the research project, told Deccan Chronicle.
AU sought the support of Togo's minister of higher education, Dr Ihou Wateba, who recently visited the campus. He is an expert in infectious diseases. Wateba is likely to join AUHG researchers for further studies.
Speaking to DC, vice chancellor Prof Prasad Reddy said, “Togo minister Wateba and AU would work in areas to promote entrepreneurship among the youths in both countries, helping youths to access to markets in areas related to neglected infectious diseases, agriculture and architecture.”
AU international student affairs dean EN Dhananjaya Rao said, "Yes, we will invite Dr. Wateba for AUHG to support research activities on infectious and genetic diseases."...