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Raipur: Chhattisgarh will launch mobile clinics to provide free medical support to an estimated three million people hit by sickle cell anaemia, Health Minister Amar Agrawal said.

"The disease has attained alarming proportions in the state, with more than 50 per cent of affected children dying before the age of five and many others in the prime of their youth," the Minister said, reports IANS.

Sickle cell anaemia is a disorder of the blood caused by inherited abnormal hemoglobin, an oxygen-carrying protein in the red blood cells.

"We need to reach the affected families to care for them medically and to provide counselling," Agrawal said.

"We have decided to counter the rising threat with the launch of mobile clinics on June 19. The clinics will have all necessary medical equipment as well as a doctor, health counsellor and a technician..

"These will reach the affected areas to offer medical assistance plus counselling free of cost," he said.

The government has set up a Centre for Genetic Diseases and Molecular Biology to control the disease. The Centre has launched the Chhattisgarh Sickle Cell Screening Project to take blood samples.

“Nearly three million people in the state are said to be either sickle cell carriers or suffering from the disease which is a genetic disorder that can be life threatening," Pradeep Kumar Patra, who heads the centre, said.

He said the centre was screening people in the age group of 3-15 to detect the disease early.

Patra said though the disorder was prevalent in all 18 districts of the state, it was alarming in 10 that have a high population of Other Backward Classes (OBC) and tribes.

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