(Blood Cancer) Leukemia is a cancer that affects the blood and bone marrow where blood cells are made. The incidence of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) in Children below 15 years is approximately 3-4 cases per 100,000 children. A gradual increase in the incidence of ALL has been observed in the last 25 years. The annual rate of ALL occurrence is approximately 30 to 40 per million.
These children come from three socio-economic backgrounds in which 70% being extremely poor who cannot afford any treatment unless it is provided free, in which Bone Marrow transplantation is advanced treatment for those patients.
Thalassemia (also spelled Thalassaemia) is an inherited autosomal recessive blood disease. In thalassemia the genetic defect, which could be either mutation or deletion, results in reduced rate of synthesis or no synthesis of one of the globin chains that make up hemoglobin. This can cause the formation of abnormal hemoglobin molecules, thus causing anemia, the characteristic presenting symptom of the Thalassemia’s. Thalassemia prevalence in India is 2-14%.
The only curative treatment for Thalassemia is allogeneic stem cell transplantation if there is a HLA identical sibling or family member. If done between the ages 2-7 years, the success rate for this procedure is 80 -90%. The cost of the transplant which is approximately Rs 8-10 lakhs per patient is equivalent to looking after a Thalassemia major patient for 5-8 years with supportive care. They have average lifespan of 25 years only. But all Hope is not lost till. The only cure is a Bone Marrow Transplant from matching sibling, and costing over Rs.10 lakhs, where success rates are 70-80 percent.
Cerebral palsy is a disorder of movement, muscle tone or posture that is caused by an insult to the immature, developing brain, most often before birth. Signs and symptoms appear during infancy or preschool years. In general, cerebral palsy causes impaired movement associated with exaggerated reflexes, floppiness or rigidity of the limbs and trunk, abnormal posture, involuntary movements, unsteadiness of walking, or some combination of these.
People with cerebral palsy may have difficulty with swallowing and commonly have eye muscle imbalance. People with cerebral palsy may have reduced range of motion at various joints of their bodies due to muscle stiffness. The effect of cerebral palsy on functional abilities varies greatly. Some people are able to walk while others aren't able to walk. Some people show normal to near normal intellectual function, but others may have intellectual disabilities. Epilepsy, blindness or deafness also may be present. People with cerebral palsy often have underlying developmental brain abnormalities.
These are small duration camps organised in different parts of the country on the basis of health needs of a specific location. These health camps aim at promoting health seeking behaviour in the long term and thus, unlike a general curative health camp, these camps also majorly work on building awareness regarding common ailments, family planning methods, nutrition and hygiene and sanitation. These camps provide comprehensive health services free of any cost.
These health camps are organized with support from corporates, civic bodies, the government, NGOs and individual volunteers. Smile has conducted over 75 general health camps till date and has benefitted more than 25, 000 people directly.
Polio myelitis is characterized by destruction and death of motor neurons. Normally, messages from nerve cells in the brain, or upper motor neurons, are transmitted to nerve cells in the brain stem and spinal, known as lower motor neurons, and from there to skeletal muscles. Upper motor neurons direct the lower motor neurons to produce movements such as walking or chewing. Lower motor neurons control movement in the arms, legs, chest, face, throat, and tongue.