Beta-Thalassemia Prevention and Control Program in Zahedan University of Medical Sciences, 2017
Thalassemia is a Greek word that is derived from the two words “Thalassa” meaning the sea and “Emia” means blood and is called Mediterranean anemia or Cooley’s anemia. The disease is spread across the Mediterranean region, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Europe and United States. Between 1.5% and 3% of the worlds population is the carrier of β-thalassemia gene. In South-East Asia, the prevalence of thalassemia carriers is 10% to 20%. It is estimated that there are about 80 to 90 million beta thalassemia carriers in the world. It is also estimated that at least 60,000 new beta-thalassemia cases are born in the world every year. Most of the cases occur in developing countries. Thalassemia has an autosomal recessive inheritance pattern. When parents are carriers of the β-thalassemia gene, one in four (25%) pregnancies will be affected.