Japan on Sunday agreed to work with India in developing a treatment for the sickle cell anaemia after Prime Minister Narendra Modi sought help for finding remedy to the deadly disease commonly found among tribals in India.
Modi, who has been keenly looking for a remedy to the disease since his days as the chief minister of Gujarat, discussed the issue with Nobel Prize winner for Medicine (2012) S Yamanaka when he visited the Kyoto University.
The PM, on the second day of his tour, raised the issue during his visit to the stem cell research facility and discussed whether Japan could be of help in this regard. Yamanaka is the director of the university.
"I wanted to understand stem cell research because cultural heritage matters as much to me as scientific heritage. I want to integrate both to make India a developed country. It was a good opportunity for me," Modi said.
The PM discussed the possibility of cooperation in finding a treatment for the disease, said External Affairs Ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin.
Sources said the Japanese side said it would work with India in jointly finding the treatment.
The sources said Modi, since his days as the Gujarat CM, has been trying to see if any solution could be found to the disease but has been helpless as no cure has been invented yet.
Sickle cell disease is a serious disorder in which the body makes sickle-shaped red blood cells. "sickle-shaped" means that the red blood cells are shaped like a crescent. Normal red blood cells are disc-shaped and look like doughnuts without holes in the center. They move easily through blood vessels. Red blood cells contain an iron-rich protein called hemoglobin. This protein carries oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body.