Presently, 12 percent of the country’s population ( or 13 million people) inherit Thalassemia genes; worse, the rate of Thalassemia inheritors in ethnic minority groups is even higher.
Dr. KHanh estimated that amore than 20,000 Vietnamese people living with Thalassemia who must undergo lifetime treatment; worse, approximately 8,000 children inheriting the disease genes are born yearly and 900 of them die prematurely.
Moreover, Dr. Khanh said it needs around 500,000 blood units for treatment of the disease every year. Thalassemia carriers suffering iron and blood deficiency require regular blood transfusions.
Patients suffering from Thalassemia or another hemoglobinopathies spend around $3 billion from birth to 30 years old. Without timely treatment, Thalassemia carriers will suffer infection, liver failure, heart disease and they are at high risk of mortality.
Premarital screening is being implemented for identification of asymptomatic carriers of these Thalassemics and possible prevention of future high-risk marriages by genetic counseling to reduce the prevalence of thalassemia in coming year.