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Thalassemia prevention program in Iraq: Will it be cost-effective and applicable?

Mustafa Majid, Mohammed Mutar

Abstract: Thalassemia is an inherited autosomal recessive hemoglobinopathy which has a prevalence of 35.7/100000 and incidence of 4.5 per 100000 in Iraq. The disease is totally preventable as many countries succeeded in accomplishing this. Many domains included in the prevention program ranging from education, carrier detection, molecular diagnosis, genetic counselling prenatal diagnosis and therapeutic abortion. The last option may find difficulties in its accomplishment in Arabic countries as it finds contradictions to some religious and tradition habits. In Iraq it does cause burden on health budget as a report from the federal board of supreme audit in 2016 revealed that the cost of management of each patient is 1428.00-3785.00 US$/month, this include blood transfusion, drugs and other treatment facilities. As this calculated for the life expectancy for thalassemic major patient and number of patients in Iraq, the pattern of Burden will be identified clearly. Comparing this pattern to that of single case prevention calculations may show the cost effectiveness of thalassemia prevention. The aim of this study is to assess the cost-effectiveness of applying a prevention program and the difference in expenditure between case prevention and management per year and to see the extent of applicability of the prevention program. Key words: Thalassemia, Prevention, Cost, applicability
Keywords: Treatment / Iraq / Prevention Program / cost effectiveness / Thalassemia Prevention / Accomplishing / case prevention / patient and number

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