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The inherited blood disorder of Thalassaemia is typically treated with blood transfusions, and in extreme cases by entire blood marrow transplants. A government Ayurveda hospital in Punjab's Ludhiana will be treating Thalassaemia sufferers with goat blood under a project funded by the Punjab government and the Centre, a medical officer from the hospital said on Saturday.
A medical officer at the Government Ayurvedic Hospital, Hemant Kumar said to PTI that the Union Ministry of Health has already released a fund of Rs 35 lakh, to which the Punjab government has added another Rs 13 lakh. The unusual treatment is expected to start in 4-5 months.
"Goat blood is injected into a patients body through the rectum. This does not let the haemoglobin level in the patient drop. Over a period, the patient no longer needs blood transfusion. Initially, blood has to be given four times and the frequency is reduced to three times and later two times and so on till the patient is fully cured," Kumar said.
He added that another doctor working at the hospital, Shevali Arora, would be in charge of the unconventional method of treatment.
Both Kumar and Arora have been trained at the Akhandanand Ayurvedic Hospital Ahmedabad in Gujarat, where Kumar said that such a treatment was already being provided.
According to another Ayurveda expert, Vatsyayan, the use of goat blood in treating Thalassaemia is a 5,000-year-old method, however, nobody was practicing it until Atul Bakar from Gujarat took the initiative and tried it successfully.
Thalassaemia is an inherited blood disorder that affects the production of haemoglobin in the blood, which is used by red blood cells to carry oxygen around the body. As a result, patients suffer from anaemia which includes severe tiredness, shortness of breath and heart palpitations, delayed growth, and excess iron that can affect the heart, liver and hormone levels.