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LAHORE: With the theme “Empowering lives, embracing progress: equitable and accessible thalassemia treatment for all”, the World Thalassemia Day, was marked on Wednesday with a resolve to raise awareness about the disease for creation of a healthy society.

To mark the day, different events were organised in which speakers highlighted the disease of thalassemia, which is inherited blood disorders characterized by decreased haemoglobin production. When there isn’t enough haemoglobin, the body’s red blood cells don’t function properly and they last shorter periods of time, so there are fewer healthy red blood cells travelling in the bloodstream. People with thalassemia may have mild or severe anemia. Severe anemia can damage organs and lead to death.

The speakers highlighted “Thalassemia is a treatable disorder that can be well-managed with blood transfusions and chelation therapy.”

They revealed that mass screening for thalassemia carriers is neither cost-effective nor practical in a country like Pakistan that is thickly populated. The real problem is that 99% of carriers do not know that they carry this disease as they don’t go through thalassemia test.

Provincial Minister for Primary and Secondary Healthcare Kh Imran Nazir visited the offices of Fatimid Foundation and Sundus Foundation separately to mark International Thalassemia Day. Kh Imran Nazir went to the children affected by thalassemia in Fatimid Foundation and Sundus Foundation one by one and distributed gifts among them.

Addressing the event organized by Sundus Foundation regarding the day, the minister said that the institutions busy in extending treatment to Thalassemia-ridden children. He said that these two institutions are providing the best medical facilities to the children suffering from thalassemia.

Under the direction of Punjab Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz Sharif, a state-of-the-art thalassemia center will be established in every division where patients can be provided with healthy and safe blood transfusion facilities.

The health minister said that the diagnostic test for thalassemia before marriage should be made mandatory. In this regard, legislative process will be expedited. He said that children suffering from thalassemia deserve our attention and cooperation with these institutions will help to bring smiles on the faces of young children. For eradication of thalassemia, a joint role is the need of the hour. He further said that the Punjab government will reduce the burden of these institutions to cure thalassemia.

Moreover, the Punjab Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz Sharif in her message said, “There is a dire need to impart awareness among the people to protect them from the thalassemia disease. We have to make a pledge to continue our struggle so as to make Pakistan Thalassemia-Free.”

The CM said, “The basic objective on the World Thalassemia Day is to promote awareness about his disease among the people. It is highly painful for the thalassemia patients to undergo blood transfusion. Every thalassemia patient deserves special attention from society. There is a constant need for blood transfusion and medical treatment in thalassemia disease.”

A genetic test before marriage can prevent the thalassemia disease. Thalassemia patients can be greatly helped by donating them blood, she added.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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