High Court issues rule on absence of thalassaemia status in NIDs

The rule also asks why a policy to identify thalassaemia patients will not be formulated

Staff Correspondentbdnews24.com
Published : 7 August 2022, 03:09 PM
Updated : 7 August 2022, 03:09 PM

The High Court has issued a rule asking why National IDs will not include information on thalassaemia affliction of citizens.

The rule also questions why the government will not be instructed to formulate a policy to identify people carrying the disease.

A High Court bench of Justices Md Mozibur Rahman Miah and Kazi Md Ejarul Haque Akondo issued the rule on Sunday following the preliminary hearing on a writ petition moved by lawyer Yunus Ali Akand.

The court asked the cabinet, health, law, home, Election Commission secretaries, director general of the health directorate and the president of Bangladesh Medical and Dental Council to respond to the rules within four weeks.

Lawyer Yunus argued his case and Deputy Attorney General Arobinda Kumar Roy represented the state.

Yunus said about 15 million people in Bangladesh are afflicted by thalassaemia, which is a blood-related disease.

“A thalassaemia patient needs five-six blood transfusions every month to stay alive. It cannot be cured.”

Thalassaemia is a genetic blood disorder in which a person cannot make enough haemoglobin which leads to severe anaemia.

People with thalassaemia produce either no or too little haemoglobin, which is used by red blood cells to carry oxygen around the body. This can make them very anaemic - severe tiredness, weakness, shortness of breath, pounding, fluttering or irregular heartbeats (palpitations) and pale skin caused by the lack of haemoglobin.

The non-contagious disease also leads to too much iron in the body – this is caused by the regular blood transfusions used to treat anaemia and can cause problems with the heart, liver and hormone levels if untreated.

However, a patient can be kept alive for a long time through blood transfusions and a diet to keep the iron levels low.

Supreme Court lawyer Yunus had asked the government to include information on thalassaemia status in NIDs and identify individuals with the disease in a letter on May 25.

His letter mentioned the higher genetic risks of a thalassaemia patient having a child with another. He also pointed out that the risks of a child having the disease are lower if he or she is born from a healthy person and an afflicted one.

As the government did not respond to his plea, he moved the High Court with the writ plea on May 31.

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