Commonest genetic disease in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka has been identified as a country which has an intermediate prevalence of Thalassaemia. Around 3500 patients have been identified in Sri Lanka. Majority of them have thalassaemia major. A third have Hb E/β Thalassaemia .
It is highly prevalent in North West, North Central, and Central province. Thalassaemia Centre North Colombo Teaching Hospital Ragama, attached to Professorial Medical Unit Faculty of Medicine University of Kelaniya.
Thalassaemia has three facilities
- Adolescent and Adult Thalassaemia Care unit.
- Thalassaemia diagnostic laboratory.
- Molecular genetic laboratory.
Adolescent and Adult Thalassaemia Care Unit was established in February 2006 in North Colombo Teaching Hospital premises attached to ward 22 for 6 adult thalassaemic patients. Only unit in Sri Lanka dedicated for the management of adult Thalassaemic patients. It was started in a 10'' 10'' small space. Number increased in annually.
Mrs. Hema Malani Ariyarathne donated a 3 storey building in Mahara Kadawatha. It was renovated by the Ministry of health. The new building was declared open on the 11.11.2011
- This is the only unit in Sri Lanka dedicated for the management of adult Thalassaemic patients.
- This unit provides treatment to the second largest number of thalassaemia patients, in the country although it is situated in an area of lower thalassaemia prevalence.
- We have the highest percentage of patients with serum. Ferritin level < 1000 ng/dl among thalassaemia units in the country.
- Our unit has the lowest death rate of thalassaemic patients in the country.
- We have our own laboratory with facilities for the diagnosis of Haemoglobinopathies and we are the only unit that provides facilities for genetic diagnosis.
- We are the only unit that provides optimum care of blood transfusion and Iron chelation on a system that is convenient for the patients where the patient spends the least time in hospital.
- We have drug supply system that provides the medications on a regular and continuous basis.
- We have created a strict follow up system that helps us identify Endocrine problems early and treat them accurately.
- We are actively involved in Thalassaemia screening and National Thalassaemia prevention program in Sri Lanka.
- Thalassaemia foundation for adults. We hold a strong support group with awareness of the living conditions of our patients and their families. We ease their psycho- Social and economic needs by providing counseling, career guidance, vocational training facilities and scholarships.
- We conduct counseling programs on a regular basis for our patients to uplift their mental status and strength.
- We organize Annual trips for the patients and families to give them the opportunity to enjoy the country's beauty as well as to get away from their daily hardships.
- We maintain a library within the unit for the patients to read and share when they are here for treatments.