Point-of-care testing significantly improves anemia detection

Point-of-care testing significantly improves anemia detection
Highlights

In India, anemia affects 50 per cent of the total population, 80 to 90 per cent of pre-school children, adolescent girls and pregnant women. It is a major burden in several countries and is recognised to be one of the most serious public health concerns.

In India, anemia affects 50 per cent of the total population, 80 to 90 per cent of pre-school children, adolescent girls and pregnant women. It is a major burden in several countries and is recognised to be one of the most serious public health concerns. The disorder is more prevalent among children and women of reproductive age with far reaching health consequences, including cognitive dysfunction.

Thus, there is an urgent need to deploy accurate, simple and robust methods for diagnosing anemia so that early treatment can be provided.
POCT, according to the College of American Pathologists are the tests designed to be conducted at or near the site where the patient is located, which do not require permanent dedicated space, and that are performed outside the physical facilities of clinical laboratories. This can make a difference in reducing diagnostic and treatment delays, thereby, improving outcomes of anemia eradication programmes.

“The solution to fight the ever-increasing burden of anemia is access to accurate anemia screening tools and monitoring of those at risk. Early detection of anemia has the potential to mitigate the long-term consequences of the disorder,” says Dr Hema Divakar, Federation of Obstetrics and Gynecological Societies of India (FOGSI) Ambassador to International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) and Former FOGSI president.

Talking about anemia screening, Bjorn Christ, President – HemoCue adds, “we are a leading company in point of care products and we feel we are obligated to eradicate anemia globally, India has the highest prevalence of anemia, hemoglobin testing is used to diagnose anemia, in layman terms anemia results from a lack of red blood cells or dysfunctional red blood cells in the body.

This leads to reduced oxygen flow to the body's organs which in turn results in low physically productivity in adults and in insidiously leads to learning disabilities. The economic effects of anemia are also significant; according to a study a country loses 7.6 gross domestic productivity because of anemia, screening is not expensive considering the socio economic benefits it provides”.

We have more than 50 per cent population as anemic, every alternate child is anemic and same is the case with women. Now we have found a new ray of hope in terms technology available for detecting anemia, we have iron folic supplementation programs run by government but at the same time looking at the quantum of this problem there is an urgent need for diagnosing anemia at point of care level and treating it, concludes Dr Ajay Khera, Deputy Commissioner, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare

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