Health Days 2015

World Thalassemia Day
Thalassemia is a genetic disorder affecting the blood cells. It is characterized by decline, below the natural rate, in both the red blood cells and the level of hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is a substance in the red blood cells that carries oxygen, therefore the decline of hemoglobin triggers anemia.
The signs and symptoms of thalassemia depend on the type and severity of the disease. As such, some babies show signs and symptoms of thalassemia at birth; whereas others may develop signs or symptoms during the first two years of their life. Some children with an affected hemoglobin gene may not develop any thalassemia symptoms.
The World Thalassemia Day is celebrated on the eighth of May every year. This year's Day is held under the theme: "Good Health Adds Life to Years," with the aim of strengthening partnership with the patient in regard to the health systems.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) obliges all those willing to get married soon to undergo premarital tests, in order to protect future generations against several genetic diseases, including thalassemia.
Local Statistics:
According to premarital tests, thalassemia cases amounted to 1,033 (at a rate of 0.03%), while the carriers of the disease amounted to 45,892 cases (at a rate of 1.4%), in the last ten years from 1425H-1435H.
International Statistics:
  • Almost 7% of the total world population is infected with hemoglobin disorders.
  • 300,000 – 500,000 children are born with hemoglobin disorders.
  •  70% of children are born with sickle cell anemia, and the rest are living with thalassemia.
  • Every year, 50-80% of children die from the sickle cell anemia.
  • Every year, 50,000 – 100,000 children die from major thalassemia.
    Internationally Approved Date: May 8th, 2015
    Locally Approved Date: Rajab 19th, 1436H
Theme of the World Thalassemia Day:
"Good Health Adds Life to Years"
Logo of the World Thalassemia Day

Targeted Groups:
  • Patients with thalassemia (both children and adults).
  • Patients' families.
  • Health professionals such as physicians, nurses, pharmacists and health educationists.
  • Educationists such as teachers, social workers, and others.
  • Health decision-makers.
  • Health societies and institutions.
  • The public.
Major Health Messages:
  • Raising and boosting health awareness on thalassemia, ways of protection, and available medical care in the region.
  • Promoting and enhancing the medical studies and researches in the field of thalassemia care and prevention.
  • Disseminating information, expertise, and effective programs on thalassemia around the world.
  • Helping the patient by supporting his right to have access to available medical care.
Related links:
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
  • Mayo Clinic
  • Thalassemia International Federation
   For more information
Last Update : 20 May 2015 11:57 AM
Reading times :