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Number of Thalassaemia patients on the rise

The Maldives has the highest prevalence of the inherited blood disorder in the world.



The Maldivian Blood Service has expressed concern over the rising number of children born with Thalassaemia.

Thalassaemia is an inherited blood disorder which may require regular blood transfusion due to abnormal haemoglobin production. A bone-marrow transplant is the only known curative treatment for the condition.

According to statistics, 13 children have been registered as Thalassaemia patients so far this year. The figure was at 11 in 2017.

An official told Mihaaru that there were difficulties in arranging treatment for all the patients through state funds.

Some 874 people are registered as Thalassaemia patients in the Maldives and their treatment is funded by the state.

“We are unable to spend enough to maintain the quality of life they need because of the increase in the number of Thalassaemia children,” the official was quoted as saying.

Regulations make it compulsory for couples to do a blood test for Thalassaemia before getting married. Authorities do not forbid marriage between two carriers but it is discouraged.

There is a 25 percent chance that a couple who are both Thalassaemia carriers will have children that have this rare condition.

According to the Maldivian Thalassaemia Society, the Maldives has the highest prevalence of Thalassaemia in the world with 18 percent of the population being affected.