Thalassemic children launch this solution, to commemorate World Thalassemia Day
Ahmedabad : Roche Diagnostics India, market leader of the Indian in-vitro diagnostics (IVD) industry, today launched the ‘Roche NAT Solution’ at Prathama Blood Center in Ahmedabad. The Roche NAT or Nucleic acid testing (NAT) solution enables screening of donated blood, to reduce the risk of transfusion transmitted infections (TTIs) in people receiving blood. This is the first time that the Roche NAT technology has been introduced in the State of Gujarat.
This launch gains further significance as it coincides with the World Thalassemia Day (May 8, 2016). The NAT Laboratory was inaugurated by Thalassemic children along with Dr. Sandeep Sewlikar, Head - Medical Affairs, Roche Diagnostics India and Dr. Jayshree Shukla, Medical Director - Prathama Blood Centre.
Thalassemia is a life-threatening genetic blood disease. Children born with this disease cannot make normal hemoglobin needed to produce healthy red blood cells. Thus, regular blood transfusion is the one conventional treatment available to patients with thalassemia, besides stem cell therapy. However, transfusion of unsafe blood poses a threat to the life of these patients.   
Dr. Sandeep Sewlikar said, “Safe blood transfusion is a grave need in India and needs to be addressed immediately. Thalassemia prevalence in India is 3-4%, with 10,000 to 12,000 reported thalassemia births taking place every year. It is also estimated that there are 30 million thalassemia carriers in the country. Blood transfusion plays a life-saving role in helping these patients live longer and maintain a quality of life. 
However, transfusion of unsafe blood that has not been screened for window period cases of viral infections could increase the risk of Transfusion Transmitted Infections (TTIs), and at times be life-threatening. NAT has proven effective in detecting such window period infections. With the high prevalence rate of TTIs in India as compared to developed countries, NAT’s role in enabling access to safe blood is important."
Dr. Jayshree Shukla said, “We are happy to bring the Roche NAT solution to Gujarat. It resonates with our own philosophy of testing, storing and administering quality blood to ensure patient safety.
Prathama caters to the blood transfusion needs of over 200 Thalassemia children across the State of Gujarat. It would be very fulfilling for us to provide these children NAT-tested blood, which is the world’s safest blood.”