Think Foundation
Knowledge Centre - You ask, We Answer

I am a healthy human being. Do I need to know what Thalassaemia is?

Absolutely Yes ! You could be a Thalassaemia Minor. (also called ‘carrier’ of Thalassaemia).

Now, what is that?

You know, you must find out whether you are a Thalassaemia Minor.


Because if you are a Thalassaemia Minor, and your spouse/spouse-to-be is also one, then your future child could be in for serious trouble.


Your child could be a THALASSAEMIA MAJOR.

What does that mean?

It means that your child will survive only if given regular, life-long blood transfusions.

How can this happen if both my spouse and me are healthy?

In most cases, Thalassaemia Minors are healthy. They pose no risk to themselves. But if both partners in a marriage are Thalassaemia Minor, there is a 25 % chance, during each pregnancy, that their child will be a THALASSAEMIA MAJOR.

So what should I do?

You must do a blood test and find out if you are a Thalassaemia Minor.

And then?

If you are not a Thalassaemia Minor, you don’t need to do anything.

And if I am a Thalassaemia Minor?

If you are a Thalassaemia Minor, you must check whether your spouse is also a Thalassaemia Minor.

And if my spouse is not a Thalassaemia Minor?

You don’t need to worry at all.

And what if we are both Thalassaemia Minor?

You must realize that there is a 25 % chance that your child will be a THALASSAEMIA MAJOR.

Does that mean that we cannot have a child if we are both Thalassaemia Minor?

That surely is the safest option. You could probably adopt a child.

But what if we want our own biological child?

You could have your own biological child. But you must inform your gynaecologist that you and your spouse are both Thalassaemia Minor. You must insist with the doctor for a Pre Natal test on the foetus. The Pre Natal test will tell you if the foetus is affected (Thalassaemia Major) or non-affected (Minor or Normal). And if the foetus is affected you can choose to terminate the pregnancy.

But how come nobody knows about this?

It is sad that nobody knows about this. And they come to know that they are Thalassaemia Minor only after they have given birth to a Thalassaemia Major child. By which time it is too late and their life is shattered.

My God !! Then everybody must check himself/herself for Thalassaemia Minor?

You bet !! There are more than 30 million Indians who are Thalassaemia Minor. You could easily be one of them. And if you don’t take the necessary precautions, you could be punishing your child and yourself in the process.

How do I check myself for Thalassaemia Minor?

You need to do a specific Blood Test for Thalassaemia Minor. This is a simple blood test.

How much time will it take to do the test?

Only 2 ml of blood will be taken from you. This should take less than a minute. The blood sample will be subjected to tests and the report will be made available to you in a week’s time.

How often do I need to do the test?

You need to do the test only once in your lifetime. Your status with respect to Thalassaemia will never change in your lifetime.

When should I do the test?

You can do the test at any age. By the time you get married you should know if you are a carrier. But, definitely before planning for a child, you ought to know if you are a Thalassaemia Minor.

Where can I do the test?

Most Pathology laboratories will do the test. You need to tell them specifically that you are looking for a test for Thalassaemia Minor.

You can contact THINK FOUNDATION (6518 1341, 6518 1343 & 98201 46448) for a list of places, in close proximity to you, where the test could be done.