Thalassemia Prevention Program in Iraq: CostEffectiveness and Applicability Assessment

Thalassemia Prevention Program in Iraq


  • Mohammed Mutar
  • Mustafa Majid Hameed


Thalassemia is an inherited autosomal recessive hemoglobinopathy which has a prevalence of 35.7/100000 and incidence of 4.5 per 100000 in Iraq. The disease is totally preventable as many countries succeeded in accomplishing this. Many domains are included in the prevention program, beginning from education, carrier detection, molecular diagnosis, genetic counselling to prenatal diagnosis and therapeutic abortion. The last option may find difficulties in its accomplishment in Arabic countries as it finds contradictions to some religious and tradition habits.
In Iraq, it does cause burden on health budget as a report from the federal board of supreme audit in 2016 revealed that the cost of management of each patient is 1,428.00- 3,785.00 US$/month, this include blood transfusion, drugs. As this calculated for the life expectancy for thalassemic major patient and number of patients in Iraq, the Burden of the disease will be identified clearly. Comparing this pattern to that of single case prevention calculations may show the cost effectiveness of thalassemia prevention. In Iraq, Ministry of health applied thalassemia prevention program in 2012 through premarital screening program for
couples before marriage.
The aim of this study is to assess the costeffectiveness of applying a complete prevention program and the difference in expenditure between case prevention and management per year and to see the extent of applicability of the prevention program.






Public Health