Together with Sickle Cell Society, we have a screening contract from the NHS and we work with Public Health England to run awareness projects to encourage people to get screened. It is vitally important that young people get screened to find out their thalassaemia status so they are fully informed before they embark on parenthood. With an increase in migration and inter-racial relationships, thalassaemia is no longer confined to the regions mentioned earlier and anyone can be at risk.
Whilst thalassaemia is a genetic condition, if a couple is aware that they both have thalassaemia minor (also known as having thalassaemia trait or being thalassaemia carriers) then they can test the unborn child as soon as the mother discovers she is pregnant. They can then decide whether to continue the pregnancy if the test shows the child will have beta thalassaemia major. With better awareness and more effective screening, the disease could be eradicated.