The Prevalence of the Beta Thalassemia Trait among the Pregnant Women who attended the ANC Clinic in a PHC, by using the NESTROF Test in Bangalore, Karnataka
Dr Praveen Kulkarni,
Lecturer, Department of Community Medicine,
JSS Medical College, SS Nagar, Near Bannimantap,
Mysore-570015, Karnataka, India.
Contaxt: Every year in India 6000 to 8000 children are born with thalassaemia major. The birth of such a child produces considerable physical and economic strain on the affected child, its family and the community at large. Thus, the emphasis must shift from the treatment to the prevention of such births in the future.
Aims: To find out the prevalence of the Beta Thalassaemia trait among the pregnant women who attended the antenatal clinics in a Primary Health Centre, by using the NESTROF test; to describe the socio-demographic characteristics of the study subjects, to find out the pregnancies which were â€˜at riskâ€™ of delivering babies with Thalassaemia major and to find out the â€˜awarenessâ€™ of the pregnant women regarding Thalassaemia.
Methods and Material: This exploratory study was conducted in a PHC which was attached to the Department of Community Medicine of a medical college which was situated in Bangalore, India, for a period of 3 months. All the pregnant women who attended the antenatal clinic and the husbands of the NESTROF positive women were included in the study. The details regarding the sociodemographic characteristics of the women were collected on a structured proforma and the NESTROF test was performed.
Results: Out of the 210 pregnant women who were tested, 18 (8.5%) were thalassaemia carriers. 12 (66.6%) of them were between 20 â€“ 25 years of age. 5 (27.7%) were born out of 2nd degree consanguineous marriages. 7 (38.8%) had a history of abortions, among which 6 (33.3%) were in the 1st trimesters of their pregnancies. Out of the 18 positive women, 9 (50%) had turned up with their husbands. All of the husbands were negative for the Thalassaemia carrier status. Thus, there was no pregnancy which was at a risk of delivering babies with thalassaemia major. None (100%) of the pregnant women were aware of the disease, thalassaemia.
Conclusions: The prevalence of the Beta Thalassaemia trait among the pregnant women was 8.5%.