‘1.5m Thalassemics unaware of their condition’

Courtesy by: thenews.com.pk

Thalassemia is a painful disease and currently there are 1.5 million patients suffering from it who are completely unaware about it, said Mohammed Iqbal, president of the Iqbal Thalassemia Care Centre (KITCC) Trust on Saturday.

Addressing the inaugural ceremony of the KITCC Trust that saw a number of political figures coming forth with their support for the organisation, Iqbal further explained the illness to the audience. “There are two types of Thalassemia, minor and major. The minor one is a blood irregularity and doesn’t require any medicine but if two people having Thalassemia minor get married then their children may be born with Thalassemia major which is not curable and is a life long process of pain and misery for the family,” he explained.

“The disease spreads because of intermarriages and most of the victims are Baloch, Pathan, Memon and other such communities where intermarriages are common. As a result, the disease is carried from generation to generation,” he added.

S M Muneer, Patron-in-Chief of the KITCC Trust lamented how the government was always there when passing a bill but when it came to actually providing financial security to welfare organizations, it did not seem to have time. “We know that there are other more important issues for the government to deal with but health care is equally important, and needs concerted effort as it is teamwork and can’t be done in isolation,” he said.

Sindh Minister for Health Sindh, Dr Sagheer Ahmed, reiterated the same and added, “It’s high time we stop supporting a cause verbally and instead show that we actually aim to do something about it. We need the state to come forward as it’s a long-term process.” He also stressed the need to bring forth laws in which married couples would be asked to go for blood tests in order to avert the risk of Thalassemia.

In the end, Speaker Sindh Assembly and Acting Governor of Sindh, Nisar Ahmed Khuhro, said that the Sindh Assembly had passed a resolution in October 2009 according to which it would be mandatory for the youth to go through tests before marriage so that the disease could be investigated upon. Senator Abdul Haseeb Khan also spoke.

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