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International Thalassemia Day: Objectives and Themes

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Samyak Lalit
Samyak Lalit | September 20, 2021 (Last update: September 20, 2021)

Samyak Lalit is an author and disability rights activist. He is a polio survivor and the founder of projects like Kavita Kosh, Gadya Kosh, TechWelkin, WeCapable, Dashamlav and Viklangta Dot Com. Website:

International Thalassemia Day is observed on the 8th of May every year. It aims at spreading awareness amongst the general public and promoting the fight against this severe blood disease. The day is also aimed at commemorating the memories of those who are no longer between us due to Thalassemia. It is also for showing solidarity with people who are bravely battling this deadly disease on daily basis. Let us learn some more about the disease and the International Thalassemia Day.

What is Thalassemia?

Thalassemia is an inherited blood disorder i.e. it is passed from parents to the child. People suffering from thalassemia have lower than normal hemoglobin in their bodies. As hemoglobin is the carrier of oxygen in the blood, thalassemia causes oxygen deficiency in the body. The common symptoms of thalassemia include anemia, fatigue, weakness, paleness and comparatively slower growth. People with mild thalassemia may only require healthy life management like a good diet and regular exercise. But, people with severe thalassemia may need a regular blood transfusion.

Objectives of Observing International Thalassemia Day

Thalassemia International Federation is organizing International Thalassemia Day since 1994. The day plays many significant roles by spreading awareness among the general public as well as the decision-makers and policy-creators around the world.

The day creates awareness about the disease, its symptoms and ways to manage life with it.

Raises awareness about vaccination for children in order to build a healthy society and a healthy world.

Clears doubts and misconceptions about thalassemia and vaccination.

Encourages policymakers to strengthen their fight against thalassemia.

Promotes remembering those who lost the battle with the disease. And, creates empathy for those who are fighting the battle daily.

Themes of International Thalassemia Day

  • 2021: Addressing Health Inequalities across the Global Thalassemia Community
  • 2020: The dawning of a new era for thalassemia: Time for a global effort to make novel therapies accessible and affordable to patients
  • 2019: Universal access to quality thalassemia healthcare services: Building bridges with and for patients
  • 2018: Thalassemia past, present and future: Documenting progress and patients’ needs worldwide
  • 2017: Get connected: Share knowledge and experience and fight for a better tomorrow in thalassemia
  • 2016: Access to safe and effective drugs in thalassemia
  • 2015: Enhancing partnership towards patient-centered health systems: good health adds life to years!
  • 2014: Economic Recession: Observe – Joint Forces – Safeguard Health
  • 2013: The right for quality health care of every patient with Thalassemia: major and beyond
  • 2012: Patients’ Rights Revisited
  • 2011: Equal Chance to Life
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