Is an inherited blood disorder which is widespread in certain parts of the world such as Mediterranean countries, Africa and Asia. The disorder affects the protein component of haemoglobin. There are three classifications:
• Minor – the person is a carrier but does not have any signs and symptoms themselves
• Intermediate – the person has a mild form of the disease which may require the occasional blood transfusion
• Major – the person has other signs and symptoms and the haemoglobin disorder causes anaemia , enlargement of the spleen and the bone marrow is affected.
The degree to which a person is affected depends on whether one or two parents are carriers. Where the disorder is inherited from one parent, the child usually has no signs and symptoms.