Nearly 7,000 children born in India every year suffer from thalassaemia, a fatal blood disorder. This could be prevented if couples go for a simple blood test before marriage or pregnancy.
Kandivli residents Rupal and Parth Dalal think the Indian government should make pre-marital thalassaemia testing compulsory, like it is in Cyprus and the UAE.
The Dalals lost their two-year-old son to thalassaemia-related complications in 2002.
Dalal (36) and his wife Rupal (34) were not asked to go for the test before or during pregnancy because doctors at a Santacruz hospital thought it was an unnecessary expense. It was only in the eighth month, when Rupal consistently had a low haemoglobin level that they were advised to take the test.
The couple then found that they were both Thalassaemia minors and their unborn son was a Thalassaemia major.
“Every time our son got an infection, he took a long time to recover. We had to take extreme care not to take him out, and despite everything, we lost him,” said Dalal.
He has been working tirelessly to spread awareness about thalassaemia since his son’s death. “If the couple knows they are thalassaemia carriers, they can get the foetus tested early and abort it. They can save themselves the pain of seeing their child suffer and die,” said Dalal, who works with non-government organisation We Care Trust.
We Care Trust is organising a special movie screening for 160 thalassaemic children at Fun Republic in Andheri on Sunday. For details, contact Parth Dalal on 9833124774 .