Udaipur's Rabindra Nath Tagore Medical College (RNT), once of the premier medical colleges and hospital in Rajasthan, will be India's second Centre of Excellence for Sickle Cell. The first such CoE is at Raipur in Chhattisgarh. The Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot had already announced this during his recent Budget 2023-24 speech in Jaipur. The government has allocated Rs 30 Crore for the development of the Sickle Cell Centre of Excellence at RNT Udaipur and for the establishment of Institute of Meaternity Science in Udaipur
Subsequent to an announcement to this extent during the Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot's Budget Speech last week, the same was once again communicated to the Principal of RNT Medical College, Dr. Lakhan Poswal in a meeting held on 11 February 2023. Dr Lakhan Poswal, in his statement to the media, said that RNT Medical College Udaipur has already done significant work on the Sickle Cell disease and is in a position to work towards eliminating the disease completely from the state before the year 2047, as has been mentioned by the Union Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman in her recent budget document.
"We have screened 9,629 new borns, irrespective of caste, tribe and relegion, so far and found 116 cases. Every baby born in our hospital is screened for sickle cell disease." - Dr. Lakhan Poswal, Principal and Controller of the Medical College.
In order to address control over the disease and subsequent elimination, Dr Lakhan Poswal said that in the Sickle Cell Centre of Excellence, RNT will conduct screening for Sickle Cell traits and counsel the families not to solmnize marriages of persons carrying Sickle Cell traits, so that the children are healthier. He added that the RNT team will conduct on the spot screening in schools and other places to diagnose sickle cell traits in persons. He added that antinatal testing will be done to give the parents a choice to terminate pregnancy if the foetus shows signs of Sickle Cell disease.
"If two persons having Sickle Cell traits (inherited once Sickle Cell gene and one normal gene) get married, the chances of their newborn having Sickle Cell disease is significantly higher", Dr. Lakhan Poswal.
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