Burden of Genetic Diseases in India- UPSC Current Affairs

Burden of Genetic Diseases

Today we will talk about Genetic Disorders in our Current Affairs discussion. Elevate your UPSC CSE preparation with this detailed article and also find the topic’s relevance to the UPSC syllabus.

For Prelims: Genetic Disorders, Thalassemia, Sickle Cell Anemia

For Mains: Genetic Disorders in India 

Also read, Initiatives To Curb Rising Mental Health Cases In India, in our yesterday’s edition of Current Affairs in case you missed reading it.

Context

While inaugurating the Blood Transfusion Unit and Advanced Diagnostic Laboratory in Hyderabad, the Vice President pressed for preventive measures to address the huge burden of genetic diseases in the country.

Probable Question

Write a brief note on the Burden of Genetic Diseases in India.

About Genetic Disorders

  • Genetic diseases are the diseases or disorders caused by mutations in one or more Genes.
  • Thalassemia and sickle cell anemia are some of the genetic disorders in the country.

Genetic Disorders in India

  • Every year around 10-15 thousand babies are born with Thalassemia in India.
  • The prevalence of beta-Thalassemia is in the range of 2.9 – 4.6% in India.
  • Whereas sickle cell anemia is more prevalent among lower socio-economic sections of society, ranging from 5 to 40 % among the tribal populations.
  • The Government’s flagship scheme ‘Ayushman Bharat’ is helping many poor families and stressed  that providing quality and affordable healthcare is a shared responsibility of the public and private sectors.

Causes of Wide Prevalence

  • Lack of awareness is a major impediment in the prevention of thalassemia and sickle cell anemia.
  • The available treatments are cost-intensive and distressing to the child.

Some Measures to be taken

  • Mass screening of children can be implemented for early identification and management of genetic disorders.
  • Early detection of genetic disorders will help in counseling the patients, thus avoiding the marriage of two individuals who are silent carriers of defective genes which may lead to serious genetic abnormalities in their children.
  • Children affected with Thalassemia need regular blood transfusions throughout their life, thus the youth come forward and donate blood for the needy.
  • Providing quality and affordable healthcare is a shared responsibility of the public and private sectors.
  • The shortage of manpower in rural areas, where if rural service becomes mandatory for young doctors it can prevent many such diseases.
  • Digital tools are a cost-effective method for making healthcare accessible to all.
  • Involvement of private sectors, NGOs, and other stakeholders to complement the government’s efforts in combating genetic diseases.
  • Private sector should also set up more diagnosis and treatment facilities, especially in tier two and three cities and rural areas.

News Source: PIB

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