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21 disabilities under RPWD 2016 - Sickle Cell disease

The 21 disabilities covered by the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, RPWD 2016 also includes Sickle Cell Disease. People with the disease are considered as deserving of the benefits accorded to people with disabilities in India.

What is Sickle Cell Disease?

Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a disorder of the blood and is hereditary. This means the disease is passed on by family members.

The disease is given this name as the shape of the red blood cells in the body looks like a sickle in a person with the disorder. Sickle is a tool shaped like the alphabet C.

Red blood cells contain a molecule called haemoglobin that carries oxygen throughout the body and keeps it in a proper working condition.

\SCD causes the red blood cells to have abnormal shape and rigid surface causing them to block the proper flow of the blood.

How is it transmitted?

When both parents contain the defective genes, their child has a one in a four chance of inheriting the disease. However, the chances are rare if only one parent carries the defective gene. In this case a person becomes the carrier of the bad gene but does not get sick because of SCD.

Symptoms of SCD

Symptoms start in early childhood and can vary from person to person.

Some symptoms are:

- Anaemia

- Necrosis

- Pain

- Spleen Damage

- Acute Chest Syndrome

- Pale Appearance, Fast Heart Rate, And Fatigue

- Aplastic Crisis

- Haemolytic Crisis

In infants, children and teenagers, sickle cell anemia can cause delayed growth and puberty while in adults it can cause chronic fatigue.

Treatments of SCD

Depending on the severity of the disorder the treatment can be done through medication, blood transfusions and a bone-marrow transplant in rare cases.

The pain and anemia caused due to the presence of SCD makes life difficult for the patients. Each year around 300,000 children are born with sickle cell anemia across the world. There is no exact data about the numbers in India however, the disease is prevalent in the central and western regions.

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