Prevalence of haemoglobinopathies in young adults from screening camps in Karachi: The importance of using simple thalassemia screen tool for carrier detection in a resource-constrained region
Author(s): Maliha Sumbul
Introduction: Pakistan has a high prevalence of Beta Thalassemia with 5-8% of the population with thalassemia minors, thus there are about 9.8 million carriers. It is estimated that approximately 5000 children are born with thalassemia major, each year. Pakistan’s total burden of Thalassemia major affected children may be over 50,000. The expected actual figure is much higher due to unregistered thalassemics living in rural areas. There is lack of national screening program for thalassemia in Pakistan. Simple tools to identify cases which can later be tested by diagnostic methods is the solution for a developing country with financial limitations. A cross sectional observational study was done in collaboration with Sindlab Diagnostics and JIBA International, Karachi. Total 497 adults were screened using Thalassemia Screening Tool, of which 129 cases were tested for Hb electrophoresis by High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC).