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Gujarat University has formally decided to implement provisions which would make thalassaemia screening test mandatory for students in the varsity and in different colleges affiliated with it. Though guidelines for making such tests mandatory were introduced long time back, by the state health department, university authorities had failed to take any decision in this regard so far. Incharge Vice Chancellor Mukul Shah said the facility for screening tests would be available for students of colleges and university, at a discount in the health centres of AMC and Red Cross societies.
The exercise will begin in August. Initially it will be in the form of an awareness drive and from next academic year, this screening test will be made mandatory for all students. The admission forms will carry the instructions on thalassaemia screening test. Also, students seeking admission will be asked to mention the findings of their test in the admission form. Besides, the identity card of a student too would carry information if he has any history of thalassaemia, said Shah. Asked as to why the decision was not taken earlier, soon after government’s instructions a few years back, Shah, who recently took charge from Parimal Trivedi, declined to elaborate and said it’s never too late.
State Health Department has already made the screening compulsory for all the 11 universities across the state, but the same was not complied with in GU and some other institutes. Experts point out that the detection of thalassaemia minor, which otherwise does not interfere in the normal lifestyle, is necessary because if detected it can prevent the offspring being born with thalassaemia major. When two individuals with thalassaemia minor marry, there is a 25 per cent chance that their child may be born with thalassaemia major. Therefore, two individuals with thalassaemia minor should not marry. This is the easiest ways to reduce the number of new cases, they point out.
Courtesy: Times of India
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