Haemoglobinopathies in India: estimates of blood requirements and treatment costs for the decade 2017–2026


The Government of India is presently engaged in the implementation of a prevention and control programme for two major forms of haemoglobinopathies, thalassaemia major and sickle cell disease, with guidelines for their prevention and management formulated under the National Health Mission. Based on projections for the population up to the year 2026, the annual blood requirement for treatment will increase to 9.24 million units, together with an 86% increase in budgetary requirements which then would account for over 19% of the current National Health Budget. To avert a public health crisis there is an urgent need to fully implement the prevention programme for haemoglobinopathies.

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SS prepared the first draft with calculation of projected estimates, data sources and other literature references. TS checked all the initial data, helped in preparing first draft and contributed in revising the manuscript. RC provided inputs, rigorously cross-checked all source data and estimates and contributed in editing the text and tables. AHB majorly contributed in providing context to the expressed opinion and in revising the manuscript to its final format.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Sujata Sinha.

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Permission for the use of anonymised data on blood requirements of thalassaemia patients was provided by each of the four collaborating centres.

Conflict of interest

In 2017, AHB acted as consultant on consanguinity for Merck, Sharp and Dohme. SS, TS and RC have nothing to disclose.

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Sinha, S., Seth, T., Colah, R.B. et al. Haemoglobinopathies in India: estimates of blood requirements and treatment costs for the decade 2017–2026. J Community Genet 11, 39–45 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12687-019-00410-1

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  • Thalassaemia
  • Sickle cell disease
  • India
  • Transfusion needs
  • Health budget
  • Public health