Medical students will have to submit their thalassaemia profiles to the West Bengal University of Health Science (WBUHS) while applying for registration from the university.
WBUHS has directed its 77 colleges in allopathy, homoeopathy, nursing, dental, ayurved, and unani to ask students to submit reports of thalassemia tests along with registration forms within three months after admissions to MBBS, BHMS or other undergraduate courses in ayush. The health university has also threatened to withhold registrations of students if they do not abide by this norm. Around 12,000 students get admitted to colleges under the university every year.
The health university has also requested the vice-chancellors of other universities in the state to implement the norm from this academic session.
With report of nearly one lakh thalassaemia cases in Bengal, the fatal disease is on the rise in the state. Pre-marriage screening of thalassaemia among students in undergraduate courses will help prevent spread of the genetic disorder. There are two tests - high-pressure liquid comatography and red cell indices -done to confirm thalassaemia.
These tests are done in medical colleges, district hospitals and private laboratories. There is more than 25% chance of thalassaemia in the womb during pregnancy when both male and female are carriers of the fatal disorder. But the foetus is absolutely safe from getting the disorder if any one of the partners is a carrier of thalassaemia.
“We have already directed 77 of our colleges to ask students to get the tests done. The entire society will be benefited if the students get tested for thalassaemia and submit test reports to the university while applying for registration,” professor Manoj Kumar Ghosh, pro-vice chancellor of the health university said.
“With regular detection and awareness, we found that 4% of the population in the state has thalassaemia. Earlier, it was 3%,” said Prasanta Chowdhury, thalassaemia expert and haematologist in the city.
Thalassaemia cases are on the rise in Bengal compared to other states, said Sailen Ghosh, an activist, who organises awareness campaigns against the disease.