Myshkin Ingawale: A blood test without bleeding – via TED2012
“More than 2 billion people worldwide suffer from anemia. The World Bank estimates that anemia causes up to $50 billion in productivity losses across the world. Most of the 2 billion cases of anemia are in the developing world (a problem closely linked to nutrition) — and not fatal!
However, more than 1 million women and children die annually from undiagnosed anemia. Anemia is perfectly treatable and can be controlled by changes in diet, iron tablets and folic acid and, in extreme cases, blood transfusions. However, when it goes undiagnosed — and more importantly, if the treatment cycle goes unmonitored — then it can lead to severe problems. In developing nations like India, more than 50 percent of women are anemic — so every single pregnant women who reports to a government clinic is given free iron tablets. This is good, but not enough. India still has one of the highest infant and maternal mortality rates in the world.
My friends Dr. Abhishek Sen and Dr. Yogesh Patil, who interned in different rural districts in Western and Central India, had seen and lived through this problem. The real problem, they told me, was not just the diagnosis or the treatment, but the lack of active monitoring, the absence of data, and of feedback to the patient or the caregiver on how well or badly they were responding to treatment. Compliance is shocking in most places.”