Mrs. Asma al-Assad visits Thalassemia Centers in Nicosia

November 23, 2010


Nicosia, Cyprus- Mrs. Asma al-Assad, accompanied by the Cypriot First Lady Mrs. Elsie Christofias, visited on Friday the Handicraft Center in Nicosia, built with the aim of preserving and introducing the traditional culture of Cyprus.

Mrs. al-Assad and Mrs. Christofias toured the Center and were briefed by those in charge of the Center on its parts which include experimental workshops in the fields of embroidery, knitting and handwork in wood, metal and pottery, among other handicrafts.

There are also workshops for training those willing to learn the crafts.

The Handicraft Center in Nicosia is affiliated to the Cypriot Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism. Its products attract thousands of tourists annually from inside and outside Cyprus, given that handicrafts are based to a great extent on the traditional folkloric art of Cyprus.

Mrs. al-Assad, also accompanied by Mrs. Christofias, visited on Thursday the Thalassemia International Federation (TIF) headquarters and Thalassemia Center at Makarios Hospital in Nicosia, where she inspected Cyprus pioneering experience in combating this disease.

Cyprus has succeeded in stopping Thalassemia disease as no new cases have been recorded for 15 years now. This was accomplished in cooperation between the governmental parties in Cyprus and the civil society, together with the TIF through applying a policy of performing early detection and medical check ups and intensifying awareness raising programs.

By so doing, Cyprus has joined the other countries which rely on prevention as a certain way to stop the spread of the disease, since prevention costs much less than treatment, in addition to the fact that it contributes to preserving the health of the individuals, which enables them to better play their role in the national development programs.

During the visit, discussion revolved around the possibility of availing from the Cypriot experience in this regard and transferring it to the health sector in Syria, especially in terms of setting up an effective prevention program that contributes to stopping the appearance of new cases of the disease in Syria.

Cooperation may also include laying down the appropriate foundations for cooperation between the governmental parties and the civil organizations concerned in the health issue, in addition to exchanging experience and expertise about diagnosis and treatment methods and intensifying efforts in the field of early detection.

During their meeting with Mrs. al-Assad, TIF President Panos Englezos, TIF Executive Director Androulla Eleftheriou and the Cypriot Minister of Health Christos Patsalides expressed readiness to utilize the expertise they have to work with their Syrian counterparts with the aim of setting up a special prevention strategy for Syria to help in gradually reducing the number of thalassemia patients which reaches 7500 toward finally getting rid of the disease for good.

Syria is working to stop the increase of the number of Thalassemia patients through getting the policy of conducting pre-marriage medical tests applied all across Syria and constantly supporting the current patients, as well as further activating the programs aimed at raising awareness of the disease and its prevention mechanism.

It is also working to support the religious, social and civil parties and centers concerned in the issue.

There are two Thalassemia centers in Damascus and Aleppo and a Thalassemia unit in each of the Syrian provinces.

Work is now underway to establish a new center in Raqqa city to cover the eastern region specialized in detection and diagnosis through using the latest technologies based on molecular biology and detecting DNA mutations related to genetic blood diseases including Thalassemia and sickle cell anemia.

Syria has adopted pre-marriage medical checkups through performing hemoglobin test to make sure that the couples do not have Thalassemia.

By the beginning of 2011, a survey will be launched for pre-marriage age categories to know about the number of thalassemia disease carriers.

The Thalassemia International Federation was established in 1986 with the aim of enhancing the national programs seeking for effective and productive prevention and providing appropriate care for Thalassemia patients across the world.

FAiTh is now member of Thalassemia International Federation

April 22, 2010

FAiTh Membership in Thalassemia International Federation - Courier from Cyprus!

FAiTh Membership in Thalassemia International Federation - Courier from Cyprus!

Thalassemia International Federation Kit for FAiTh

Thalassemia International Federation Kit for FAiTh

FAiTh Membership in Thalassemia International Federation

FAiTh Membership in Thalassemia International Federation

FAiTh Membership in Thalassemia International Federation

FAiTh Membership in Thalassemia International Federation

First ladies of Cyprus, other countries join forces to help Thalassemia patients

January 28, 2010

Courtesy by:
The First Ladies of Cyprus, Lebanon and Albania joined forces in Cyprus on Wednesday to help thalassemia patients worldwide.

They gathered in Nicosia at the invitation of the First Lady of the Republic of Cyprus Elsi Christofia to inaugurate the International Circle of Dignitaries for the benefit of patients with haemoglobin disorders.

The Circle of Dignitaries is a new initiative by the Thalassemia International Federation (TIF), the Cyprus-based global federation of thalassemia associations. The objective of the Circle is to support the efforts of TIF to promote greater awareness of haemoglobin disorders, effective prevention and optimal patient care globally.

The founding members of the Circle are Elsi Christofia, First Lady of Cyprus, Liri Berisha, First Lady of Albania and Mouna Haraoui, representing the First Lady of the Republic of Lebanon.

Cyprus used to have a high percentage of thalassemia patients but managed to markedly reduce the number of patients by preventing the birth of babies having the disease through pre- marital examination.

“Cyprus has a long track-record of effective prevention and treatment of thalassemia and provides a successful model for other countries to follow,” Elsi Christofia said.

She said that both Lebanon and Albania are examples of countries where TIF has for many years been actively involved and where significant progress has been achieved in promoting the quality of life of patients.

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