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Bulletin of the World Health Organization : 2004; Volume 82, Number 4, Year 2004 82 (4), Pages 243-250: Use of Medicinal Plants and Pharmaceuticals by Indigenous Communities in the Bolivian Andes and Amazon

By Ina Vandebroek

Medical Reference Publication

The hereditary anaemias are among the commonest of the genetically-determined diseases and comprise a group of conditions of considerable complexity. However. because of the easy accessibility of the red blood cell more has been learnt about the genetic and molecular basis of anaemias than about any other inherited human disease. Many hereditary anaemias are rare and are not important as regards public health. However, two groups, the inherited disorders of haemoglobin (haemoglobinopathies) and a deficiency of the red-cell enzyme glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD), because their heterozygous carrier states appear to provide resistance against Plasmodium falciparum malaria, have achieved an extraordinarily high frequency in the world population. In countries where they occur commonly, the haemoglobinopathies are now producing an increasing public health problem.

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