Thousands of children worldwide, including in Bangladesh, die every year due to thalassemia. However, the government can stop or reduce its frequency significantly by making and implementing a law in the country.
First, we need to know why thalassemia occurs. If there is a defect in the gene or a specific part of a particular DNA of the human cell that determines the structure of the protein called haemoglobin present in red blood cells, then there is a defect in the structure of haemoglobin.
DNA contains nitrogenous bases, and when there is a mismatch (wrong base sequence) in the arrangement of these bases, then there is a mismatch (wrong amino acid sequence) in the arrangement of amino acids in haemoglobin.
And this defective haemoglobin cannot carry enough oxygen. Due to lack of oxygen, various parts of the body get damaged. Slowly the patient may even progress to death (it depends on the type of thalassemia).
If there is such a defect (wrong base sequence) in the haemoglobin gene of the DNA, then one should not marry someone whose DNA has such a defect in the haemoglobin gene.
Because if there is a defect in the DNA of both husband and wife, then the possibility of thalassemia in the child is very high. A carrier of thalassemia characteristics cannot be married to a carrier of thalassemia characteristics.
By doing a haemoglobin electrophoresis test, you will know whether you are a carrier of the thalassemia trait or not. If the government stops the marriage of mutual carriers of thalassemia traits, then the rate of thalassemia will decrease significantly in the country.
At one time, many people died of thalassemia in Cyprus, and Cyprus was one of the most thalassemia-affected countries in the world. Then the government of that country made a law that no one cannot get married without showing the result of the haemoglobin electrophoresis test. After this rule was introduced, the rate of thalassemia in Cyprus turned out to be one of the lowest in the world.
Bangladesh could follow in the footsteps of Cyprus to save thousands of lives every year. While awareness is gradually growing about the disease's prevention, electrophoresis tests need to be made readily available throughout the country.