The Newsletter 52 Winter 2009

Double discrimination Sickle cell anaemia prevention programmes in India

Prasanna Kumar Patra

Sickle cell disease, an inherited blood disorder, is a public health problem for many tribal and rural caste communities in India. Many community members with the condition feel doubly discriminated against – by nature and by the State. Why is this disease more prevalent among such communities? Is the disease inherent to such tribal communities, or is this a myth? As Prasanna Kumar Patra reveals, ongoing sickle cell control programmes in India seem to be better at creating social and ethical issues than they are at controlling the disease.

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