Thalassaemia victim dies guiding others

October 30, 2009

Courtesy: Dawn.com

ISLAMABAD: ‘Should I rejoice that we’ll soon have a thalassaemia bill … or should I be sad that Salman isn’t among us to celebrate this news?’ wrote Ayesha Mehmood on her blog.

Ayesha is the sister of an unsung hero, late Salman Mehmood, who was running a website for the awareness of thalassemia patients.

After four days on ventilator, Salman succumbed to spinal meningitis at the Aga Khan University Hospital in Karachi on Monday.

Salman, also a thalassemia patient, was successfully running a website (www.thalassemia.com.pk) for the past few years from his home in Karachi.

The site was Salman’s contribution to spread the word about thalassemia – information otherwise not easily available.

‘We intended to create a general, massive awareness about the illness and to motivate people to support thalassemia patients’ Ayesha, also a thalassemic patient, told Dawn.

‘Salman was always on his toes to let the people know about the disease and was very social among internet users across the world and was managing the bread and butter for the family,’ 22-year-old Ayesha said.

She said: ‘The idea of developing an online medium was to facilitate people and families with thalassemia while all the information and support came from Salman.’

‘My father died few years ago while our elder brother also expired when he was 17 years old who was suffering from thalassemia, and now we are only two sisters and our mother’ she said.

The family is living in Garden West area in Karachi with no one to look after us.

‘Salman has done some awesome work and now I will continue his mission so we can save lives of many in future,’ she said.

Around 4,000 people from different countries have posted condolence messages and praised the efforts of Salman for creating an online awareness campaign with limited resources.

Ayesha asserted: ‘If we want to save our future generations, the government should make thalassemia tests mandatory for couples wishing to marry.’

Badar Khushnood, Pakistan’s Google representative, also a fan of late Salman, said: ‘He was a role model for the Pakistani youth and was a young entrepreneur. He has started earning from home through his website and without letting anybody know about his disease.’

‘I just learnt about him with his nick name – skdev – and also appreciated his work by commenting on his blog. Later, we met in a conference; Salman was a bright Pakistani as his work was truly commendable and he had helped.’

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Meeting for Thalassemia Cause

October 29, 2009

Date: 27th October 2009
Time: 8:00 PM
Place: Usman Memorial Hospital, Karachi.
Cause: Thalassemia Awareness Further Plans.
Plans: Arranging more blood and awareness camps, getting mandatory tests bill passed in National Assembly.
People attended: Dr. Mustafa (Medical Director, Usman Memorial Hospital), Abdul Hameed Kath, Shamsuddin A. Noorani (Consultant- Alternative Medicine, DXN Intl. Pakistan), Musaddiq Hussain Lakhani (International Distributor, DXN Intl. Pakistan), Mustafa, Mr. Abid Beli and Mrs. Abid, Arsalan Nara, Asif Yahya, Hina Yahya, Hammad & Ayesha Mehmood

Discussion in points:

  • Explaining plan to Dr. Mustafa
  • Mr. Noorani & Mr. Lakhani brief introduction on alternative medicine (Red Reishi Mushroom)
  • Detailed discussion on Red Reishi Mushroom
  • Discussion over Hussaini Blood Bank and Transfusion centre & other centers
  • Dr. Mustafa’s idea of contacting Rafiq Khanani, who wants to do work in Thalassemia field
  • Arranging blood and awareness camps in Expo exhibition, colleges, universities & locality
  • Making arrangement for screening in discounted rate or free
  • Approaching bloggers, arranging competition to write detailed and best post about Thalassemia on their blog and win prize in the end
  • Gathering bloggers to write more and more about Thalassemia to make media pay attention to it
  • Writing letters to each and every ministry and try hard to pass mandatory tests bill passed in National Assembly
  • Making Thalassemia awareness brochure, CD

Drop your questions/advices/suggestions in Comment Box!


Salman Mehmood a.k.a SKDev (1985 – 2009)

October 23, 2009

Salman Mehmood the founder of Thalassemia.com.pk is no longer among us. He left this world at 2 pm PST on 19th October 2009 due to meningitis.

He was a thalassemic himself, 24 years old, working as a web developer for a US based company named ‘Directors Advantage’.

His dream was to save next generation from thalassemia, he wanted badly assembly to pass the thalassemia prevention bill and how unlucky of him that bill just got pass when he died…, he wanted to aware every single soul about thalassemia, he even mentioned his cause on a TV show, you can see the video on Youtube.

Rest about him I won’t write because other bloggers/journalist/writers have written on him a lot. As a brother he was a gem!

Am posting some of the articles/posts written on him, I will be including more whenever they are available to me:

In The Memory of Our Beloved Friend Salman Mehmood (@skdev)

Eternal Silence.. Dedicated to @skdev

Innal Lahi Wana Ilahi Raja’on

In the memory of Salman Mehmood

Salman (@skdev) will always live in our hearts

A Prayer for Salman – Inna Lillahi Wa Inna Ilaihi Rajeeoon

Those Who Met On The Way: Dedicated To Salman Mehmood #skdev

Gone too soon…

@skdev still alive in our hearts

Prayers needed

Pak thalassemia patient who blogged about disease, dead

The Laidback Show episode dedicated to Salman Mehmood

The Deduction

Salman Mehmood of ApniISP

Never too late … but …

Is there no hope?

My Friend, Salman

Thalassaemia victim dies guiding others

Bange-Dara [076] – The People’s Voice – Tribute to Salman

Blogger Salman Mehmood Died

If am missing any article that you know please mention, I want to gather all those articles/videos/posts all on one place.

May Allah grant him the highest rank of Jannah! ameen

-Ayesha (Salman’s Sister)


Mandatory pre-marital blood test

October 23, 2009

Courtesy: thenews.com.pk

The Sindh Assembly unanimously passed a resolution on Wednesday, urging the government to make tests for Thalassemia, HIV and other diseases “mandatory” for couples before marriage.

Two other resolution were also passed; the first sought restoration of the “Guzara allowance” for the needy, while the second recommended adopting a uniform and integrated admission policy in academic institutes to promote harmony in the province.

A resolution moved by Prisons Minister Muzaffar Shujra recommended that the Sindh government make blood tests for Thalassemia, HIV, Hepatitis and other diseases mandatory for couples before marriage. It also called for launching a comprehensive campaign to create awareness about genetically-transmitted diseases.

Health Minister Dr Sagheer Ahmed said that there was a need to reserve funds for launching this campaign and to establish centres for such blood tests. Information Minister Shazia Marri said that several diseases could be prevented through blood tests.

Another resolution, jointly moved by Law Minister Ayaz Soomro, and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) parliamentary leader Syed Sardar Ahmed, urged the Sindh government to approach federal government to restore the “Guzara allowance” for the needy to provide them with immediate relief in the form of monthly financial assistance. This allowance is to be paid from Zakat funds.

Meanwhile, Speaker Nisar Ahmed Khuhro drew the attention of the law minister to the absence of several ministers in the House.

The Assembly also unanimously passed a resolution which was moved by Dr Sikandar Mandhro. It urged the Sindh government to adopt a “uniform and integrated admission policy” in academic institutes located in major urban centres, in order to provide equal opportunity to students of rural areas. The resolution also sought to set up campuses in rural areas of high quality urban academic institutes.

Dr Mandhro said that quality education was only being provided in big cities such as Karachi, Hyderabad and Sukkur, even though talent was available everywhere. He said that people from rural areas have feelings of “injustice” arising out of lack of an integrated admission policy.

There are many fissures in the national canvas, he said. Dr Mandhro also lamented the failure to develop national unity despite the passage of 60 years. “We have to provide equal opportunity to every talented person,” he said, adding that it was mandatory for each university to set up its campus in rural areas, but this law was not being implemented.

He asked why NED University and the University of Karachi were not setting up campuses in rural areas, like the Sindh University and Mehran University.

Law Minister Ayaz Soomro said that the Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology (SZABIST) had set up four campuses in various cities. He disclosed that the government was considering a new law to cancel the registration of private schools which do not teach the Sindhi language.

Dr Sagheer Ahmed said that they had reserved 45 medical seats in Karachi for students from rural areas. Similarly, 20 seats for urban students have been reserved in other medical colleges.

A fourth resolution was also passed unanimously, renaming Taluka Daulatpur in Qazi Ahmed as the Taluka Qazi Ahmed.

Opposition leader Jam Madad said that this was good resolution which should be implemented. Later, the Speaker read out the Sindh governor’s notification, proroguing the session of Sindh Assembly.


SA demands uniform admission policy

October 23, 2009

Courtesy: dailytimes.com.pk

KARACHI: The Sindh Assembly has unanimously demanded the provincial government to adopt a uniform admission policy in educational institutions of the province for providing equal opportunities to students of rural and urban areas. A PPP lawmaker, Dr Sikandar Mandhro moved a resolution in this regard that the house passed unanimously. All the parliamentary parties including the MQM and PML-F supported the resolution. The resolution says, “This assembly resolves and strongly recommends to the government of Sindh to formulate a uniform and integrated admission policy providing equal opportunities to the students of the province to get advantage of better education in urban institutions, imparting quality education in various fields of study and to spread out such facilities throughout the entire province by establishing campuses of such institutions to extend quality education to everyone, which is the basic right of all citizens of the state safeguarded in the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan.” The House also unanimously carried an out of turn resolution jointly moved by Sindh Law Minister Muhammad Ayaz Soomro and MQM’s parliamentary leader, Sardar Ahmed. The resolution reads, “This assembly unanimously resolves and recommends to the provincial government to approach the federal government to restore the Guzara Allowance to be paid from zakat funds to the needy and poor persons as it provides immediate relief to the people in the shape of monthly financial assistance.”

The House passed yet another resolution tabled by Sindh Minister for Jails, Haji Muzaffar Ali Shajra which says, “This assembly resolves and recommends to the government of Sindh to carry out a comprehensive campaign of awareness for preventing genetically transmitted diseases, like Thalassemia, Hemophilia, HIC/AIDs etc and make it mandatory to carryout blood test of couples before getting married.” The House unanimously adopted yet another resolution moved by Sindh Law Minister Ayaz Soomro which says, “This assembly resolves and recommends to the government of Sindh that taluka Daulatpur at Qazi Ahmed be re-named as taluka Qazi Ahmed.” staff report


6,000 NWFP contract employees regularised

October 23, 2009

Courtesy: nation.com.pk

PESHAWAR – The NWFP Assembly on Thursday passed a law regularizing all the contract and ad hoc employees which will benefit around 6,000 employees in various departments presently working on contract and ad hoc basis in the whole province.

NWFP Senior Minister Bashir Ahmed Bilour presented the NWFP Employees (Regularization of Services) Bill, 2009 on the floor of the house and after heated discussion it was passed.

It is worth mentioning here that NWFP Governor had regularized the contract and ad hoc employees through an ordinance sometime in September 2009. That ordinance was made an act with amendments moved by the opposition lawmakers. 

The mover informed his colleagues that it would benefit around 6,000 employees presently working in various departments on contract and ad hoc basis. He said that previous governments had appointed these contact and ad hoc employees. “We also amended the bill so the seniority of permanent employees and those qualifying the Public Service Commission (PSC) could not be affected”. 

The NWFP Assembly also passed a bill making mandatory for the would-be couple to conduct Thalassemia and Hepatitis C test before solemnizing the marriage. The bill named the North-West Frontier Province Preventive Health Bill, 2009, was tabled by ANP MPA Saqibullah Chamkani which was passed with amendments moved by JUI (F) MPA Mufti Kifayatullah. 

In order to take preventive health measures in the province, every marriage in the province before solemnizing would fulfil the preventive health measures that are Thalassemia and Hepatitis C tests. 

According to the new law, the result of the tests (whatever it might be) would have no effect on the marriage being solemnized. Before solemnizing, the Nikah Registrar would obtain test reports of premarital screening of spouses, it added. The Nikah Registrar would also keep and maintain the reports for at least two years from the date the marriage was solemnized. 

Meanwhile, during the question-answer session, the lawmakers underlined the shortage of police force and fewer facilities. Keeping in view the worsening law and order situation, they were of the view that police should be strengthened to face the insurgency in NWFP. 

The legislators hailing from the far-off areas demanded of the government to ensure the availability of medicines in public sector hospitals. Later the speaker adjourned the session for Monday.


Pakistan requires regular blood provision for its 70,000 thalassemic kids

October 23, 2009

Courtesy: app.com.pk

KARACHI, Oct. 10 (APP)- Pakistan with an estimated population of more than 70,000 “Thalassemic” children, each requiring 22 bottles of blood annually, is exposed to constant shortage of blood, said Munaf Allana, the Project Director, Al Mustafa Thalassemia Unit. In a statement here on Saturday, he said 6,000 children are born every year in Pakistan with the serious blood disorder, Thalassemia, and all such child patients need to have no less than two blood transfusions each month.


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