Hope for Bengaluru kids with thalassemia


BENGALURU: There is fresh hope for the family of Noorana Khatum, mother of two girls suffering from major thalassemia. For, one girl has undergone bone marrow transplant (BMT) free of cost and is assured of a future without frequent blood transfusions.

"After undergoing BMT, my child is healthy like other children. The facility will help poor patients," said Noorana, who is now hoping that her elder 12-year-old daughter will also get treated.

On Thursday, Bengaluru got a new bone marrow transplant (BMT) unit, exclusively for treating thalassemia children. The centre has been set up by Sankalp India Foundation , Cure2Children and People Tree Hospitals. These institutions had taken Noorana's daughter to their centre in Jaipur for treatment.

Every transplantation done at the hospital will either be free or subsidized for children. BMT costs anywhere between Rs 20 lakh and Rs 25 lakh. But this joint venture is expected to bring down the cost to Rs 8.5-10 lakh for needy children. Philanthropists have pooled in money for treatment.

An inherited blood disorder, thalassemia reduces haemoglobin or renders it abnormal. Low levels of haemoglobin could cause anaemia, an illness that makes one feel weak and tired. It could damage vital organs and even lead to death. Over 80% children suffering from thalassemia in India do not get access to systematic care and management.