ECHO India, PGICH Launch a Nationwide Capacity Building Program to Address Beta Thalassemia

Business Wire India
ECHO India, a non-profit organization committed to strengthening healthcare capacity in India, has teamed up with the Post Graduate Institute of Child Health (PGICH) Noida to launch a nationwide program focused on the Prevention and Control of Beta Thalassemia and Other Hemoglobinopathies. The program, which was initiated today through a two-day comprehensive Training of Trainers (ToT), will be implemented as a part of a nationwide collaborative initiative.
Under this program, NHM Madhya Pradesh, Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC), and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will act as knowledge partners, and ECHO India has also onboarded the Indian Academy of Paediatrics (IAP) as an academic partner.
PGICH, a leading paediatric institute established by the Uttar Pradesh Government, will serve as the National Hub for ECHO India’s program. This initiative aims to equip healthcare workers across the country with the necessary skills to prevent and manage Beta Thalassemia and other Hemoglobinopathies, particularly in remote and underserved regions of the country.
The launch of this program event was attended by the Honourable Union Minister of Tribal Affairs, Shri Arjun Munda, who highlighted the importance of capacity building to address the challenges posed by these life-threatening conditions. In his address, Shri Arjun Munda said, “Today, Beta Thalassemia, Sickle Cell Disease, and other blood disorders are a key challenge facing our country’s healthcare system. These life-threatening conditions affect not only the Indian population at large but also children and several tribal communities, making it essential to improve access to quality healthcare facilities, especially in far-flung and underserved regions. A nationwide initiative like the one being undertaken by ECHO India and its partners, including NHM Madhya Pradesh and PGICH, will enable effective service delivery for patients fighting Thalassemia and related diseases.”
Dr. (Prof.) Arun Kumar Singh, Director of PGICH, said, “At PGICH, we are dedicated to improving the health and well-being of our pediatric patients. We are excited to partner with ECHO India to launch this nationwide capacity-building program on beta-thalassemia and hemoglobinopathies, which aims to equip healthcare professionals with the latest knowledge and tools to effectively manage this genetic disorder. Through this program, we hope to create a network of healthcare professionals across the country who can work together to provide the best possible care for patients with beta-thalassemia. This is a crucial step towards reducing the burden of this disease on our healthcare system, and we are honoured to be leading the way in this effort.”
Addressing the audience, Dr. (Brig.) Rakesh Gupta, Director of the Government Institute of Medical Sciences (GIMS Greater Noida) said, “With Thalassemia being prevalent across various parts of the country, it is crucial to upskill healthcare professionals, especially those in remote parts of India, on the disease’s prevention, control, and treatment. ECHO India’s capacity-building program can prove to be critical in the development of skills and knowledge among healthcare providers at all levels, ensuring continuity of care while enabling Thalassemia patients to lead healthy, productive lives.”
Dr. (Col) Kumud Rai, Chairman of ECHO India, said, “As we launch the Nationwide Program on the Prevention and Control of Beta Thalassemia and Other Hemoglobinopathies with the Training of Trainers (ToT), I would like to express my sincere gratitude to PGICH Noida, NHM Madhya Pradesh, Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC), and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). Running this program in close collaboration with our key partners will result in the mentorship of thousands of health workers, enabling them to offer quality care to people fighting rare diseases like Thalassemia.” 
According to Dr. Nita Radhakrishnan, Associate Professor & Department Head of Pediatric Hematology Oncology, PGICH Noida, “This program is an important step in capacity building of healthcare workers to manage Beta Thalassemia, a genetic blood disorder that affects thousands of people in India. We are grateful to ECHO India for partnering with us on this important initiative and helping us to make a difference in the lives of those affected by this disease.”
Dr. Sandeep Bhalla, Associate Vice President of ECHO India, expressed gratitude to key partners for their support in this critical program and added, “Through this program, ECHO India aims to facilitate the mentorship of over 350 doctors, improving accessibility and quality of care for patients fighting Beta Thalassemia. The initiative will also hold a webinar series for other cadres of health workers to upskill them on recent developments in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of Hemoglobinopathies.”
The Nationwide Program on the Prevention and Control of Beta Thalassemia and Other Hemoglobinopathies will leverage ECHO India’s telementoring model and ‘All Teach All Learn’ framework to facilitate knowledge dissemination to the grassroots, supporting India’s efforts towards eliminating Thalassemia and Hemoglobinopathies. This program is expected to mentor several hundred doctors and hundred health workers, enabling them to provide quality care to people fighting rare diseases like Thalassemia.