Azerbaijan has endorsed Program of Action on diabetes, thalassemia and hemophilia for 2011-15

December 2, 2010

The Azerbaijani Cabinet Ministers has approved the Program of Action on a number of diseases for 2011-15.

The Cabinet informs that the programs of actions were approved by decisions #222 on diabetes, #223 on treatment and prevention of thalassemia, and #224 on hemophilia patients.

The first program is linked with a 2-fold increase in the number of registered diabetics in the country. It supposes creation of an electronic registry and database, organization of diabetes prevention schools, providing patients with insulin and other medications, etc.

The second program is linked with the fact that the country has about 1,800 thalassemia patients. It includes examination of marrying persons on the subject of threat of thalassemia in their offspring, organization of laboratories for screening of thalassemia carriers, medical and genetic consultations for them, organization of awareness about thalassemia jeopardy in secondary schools.

The third program is linked with the fact that the country numbers 1,300 hemophiliacs and their quantity is increasing by 30-40 people a year. It includes organization of inter-regional offices for patients with hemophilia, a register of such patients, training of specialists in haemophilia (including abroad).

All activities are financed in accord with Article “Health” of the State Budget.

Apollo Hospitals introduces coagulation screening test

September 7, 2010


Apollo Hospitals, Dhaka has introduced a coagulation screening test in single blood sample in its lab medicine department, according to a press release.

Coagulation screening test provides precise diagnosis of any abnormality of blood coagulation as in hemophilia, thalassemia, blood malignancy, other malignancy or any genetic disorder.

This screening consists of a set of seven tests like Bleeding Time (BT), Clotting Time (CT), Platelet count, Prothrombin Time (PT), Activated Partial Thromboplastin Time (APTT), Thrombin Time (TT) and Fibrinogen assay in a single blood sample collection.

The report will be delivered same day after 5:00 pm if sample is received within 12:00 noon, if later then it will be delivered next day after 10:00 am, the release added.

Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) in Fertility Treatments

May 15, 2010

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For couples undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF), pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) is a procedure undertaken to screen the embryos for a host of genetic diseases and disorders to ensure the delivery of a healthy baby. PGD helps physicians to identify some genetic defects within the embryo, prior to implantation, before the pregnancy is established. The couple can then decide whether or not they want to continue with the pregnancy. The procedure was first conducted in 1988 and since then this technology is increasingly being used in fertility clinics in the United States.

PGD is normally recommended for couples where one or both of the parents are a known carrier of a genetic disease such as hemophilia. The procedure involves the removal of one or two cells from an embryo which are then screened for genetic abnormalities. PGD identifies the embryos with chromosome abnormalities, thereby avoiding their transfer during an in vitro fertilization procedure. The analysis helps to detect certain inherited or chromosomal diseases such as Down syndrome, Thalassemia, cystic fibrosis, hemophilia A, Tay-Sachs disease, and Turner syndrome among others, prior to implantation.

Most fertility clinics offer PGD in select cases such as:

Women over the age of 35 who have had miscarriages or failed attempts at becoming pregnant through IVF Women who have repeated pregnancy loss due to genetic disorders or who already have one child with a genetic problem Any couple who have been unable to become pregnant through multiple IVF cycles Couples who wish to identify a tissue match for a sick sibling who can be cured with transplanted cells

For couples who are at risk of passing on serious inheritable genetic diseases to their offspring, a diagnosis before embarking on a pregnancy is preferable to medically invasive, emotionally demanding prenatal diagnostic techniques. However couples with genetic disorders should receive adequate counseling about the risks of misdiagnosis and the possibility of no diagnosis before going in for PGD.

East Bay Fertility Center California, offers a wide range of infertility treatments along with expert medical counseling to couples facing difficulty in conceiving. Under the guidance of Dr. Ellen U. Snowden, Medical Director and Reproductive Endocrinologist, medical staff at East Bay provides dedicated treatment for infertility and reproductive endocrine issues.

At the center, PGD is offered as an option to couples who are at high risk of passing on a genetic disease to their children. The Center’s IVF experience and access to advanced genetic testing and counseling holds the promise of increasing the probability of a successful pregnancy outcome from an in vitro fertilization procedure and reducing the incidence of genetic disease. The use of this advanced genetic testing procedure allows only normal embryos to be transferred back into the uterus, providing a much better chance of achieving a full-term pregnancy with chromosomally healthy embryos.

A long but successful journey of Kerala’s blood disorder patients

March 31, 2010

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They traveled three thousand kms by train taking three days and two nights to reach NewDelhi, the capital city of India. One of the main motivations behind this journey was 4th International Conference on Thalassemia which took place on 31st October and 1st November 2009 at Hotel Intercontinental Eros New Delhi. Actually they came to New Delhi not for attending the conference. They couldn’t speak or understand English or Hindi, the national language of the country. Most members of them were Thalassemia afflicted patients and their parents. Some were other blood disorder patients like Sickle cell anemia, Hemophilia, Applastic anemia and Leukemia.

Kerala is a small state with 3crores of population in utmost southern part of India. Kerala is not only a role model state in health services in India but also a complete literacy state in the nation. In the tourism map it is known as God’s own country. In Kerala near about fifty percent of population belong to Hindu religion community. Above 20% are Christians and above 25% are Muslims. The communist ideology is ruling this small state in alternative five years term getting elected by the people for last 25 years. Rest of the period after Independence has been ruled by the Indian National Congress. The communal fabrication with social amity and the peaceful social life is the salient feature of this small state. No space here for communal violence or hatred in the name of religion, caste or creed.

One of the major achievements in health sector is the low child mortality rate. But this phenomenon rises the morbidity rate of children same as the developed countries. But unlike the developed countries Kerala has no facilities to prevent or to avoid this like morbidity rate by using new technologies like antenatal diagnosis. These pathetic situation causes to rise various kinds of hereditary disorder disease like Thalassemia, Sickle cell anemia, Hemophilia and different kinds of birth defects. In Wayanad, a hill district of Tribal people in north Kerala alone, about five thousand persons are suffering from sickle cell disease among the tribal. Twenty thousand carriers among the tribal are the major threat in the health sector in the future years in hereditary disease.

Even though the prevalence of blood disorder patients is very high in north Kerala especially in Malabar region no sufficient facilities are available in hematology check up and no service of hematologist in this state.

Blood Patients’ Protection Council (BPPC) is an organization of acutely blood disorder patients like Thalassemia, Hemophilia, Leukemia, Sickle cell anemia and their parents have been fighting for the better treatment, life saving drugs and vital right of these patients for the past fifteen years. For achieving the birth right of patients many agitations were organized like road blockade including a state Secretariat march by traveling 800 km by BPPC. But the Govt. took a stubborn position against the patient’s demand. That was the one reason compelling the patients to travel to New Delhi by declaring a parliament march.

They raised slogans demanding better treatment and life saving drugs for acutely ill patients and demonstrated towards the Indian parliament on 29th October 2009. The patients raised 10 point demands including the set up of an antenatal screening facilities at Calicut medical college hospital where depends 1.5 crore people for better treatment in Malabar area and some part of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu state. Near about 100 blood disorder patients and their parents took part in the parliament march. Delhi police blocked their march with barricade at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi. The march was organised by BPPC under the leadership of Kareem Karassery, the General Convener of BPPC.

Tom Vadakkan, Secretary, Indian National Congress, the ruling party of India inaugurated the march. After the march, the participants rushed to All India Congress Committee Office New Delhi. Patients and their parents expressed their grievances and the miseries due to lack of expert treatment, life saving drugs and other ill feelings before the eminent leaders and office bearers of the ruling party (AICC) of India.

Dr. Shakheel Ahmed spokesperson of the ruling party addressed an elaborate press conference with the blood disorder patients and their parents from Kerala at AICC office. AICC Secretary Tom Vadakkan was also present in the crowded press conference. Dr. Shakheel Ahmad assured the acutely ill children and their parents from Kerala that the Govt. of India and the health and family welfare department will take urgent step to solve the 10 points demand raised by BPPC Kerala. They would bring the matter before the president of the Congress party Sonia Gandhi, central health Minister Gulam Nabi Azad and AICC gen. secretary Rahul Gandhi immediately. Only after achieving the assurance from the ruling party head quarters the patients and the parents returned from there.

The following day patients visited all monumental and significant tourism places in Delhi with their parents. They also visited Indian Parliament. Some office bearers of BPPC were delegates of the International Conference on Thalassemia at Hotel Intercontinental Eros. Due to the medium of conference and instructions was English/Hindi rest of the members of this team couldn’t register or attend the conference and same day they went to Agra and visited the Taj Mahal, one of the seven wonders of the world and other world heritage monuments like Agra Fort and well known pilgrimage center like Madura Temple etc. This journey was very pleasant for the children who are suffering with fatal diseases, especially for school going students. Parents also enjoyed this trip as great relief and relax from their painful fate of prolonged life.

On 2nd October 2009 all patients and their parents were attended in the Thalassemia clinic at Sir Gangaram hospital which was constituted by the part of International conference on Thalassemia for the registered patients. But most of our patients or their parents were not registered in the conference. Yet, Dr. V.K. Khanna, Head, Department of Hematology, Sir Gangaram hospital agreed to check up all patients even in the busy day.

The patients got a thorough check up and well medical advice from the clinic. Ms. Shoba Tuli, vice president of Thalassemia International federation helped for facilitating the check-up. Dr. P.M. Kutty, President, Malabar THAS Society, Dr. V.T. Ajith Kumar treasurer of the society also helped to make this check up a reality. The hospital authority served good delicious snacks to the patients. They returned from the hospital after the check up was over with the immense gratitude to the Gangaram hospital especially to Dr. V.K. Khanna. Many Malayalam Language dailies published this news of events with the group photograph of patients with Dr Khanna.

The following day all patients and their parents returned from New Delhi after a week-long tremendous mission and good feelings with significant knowledge to their home state by train. We reached on 5th October without any inconvenience. The journey was good with songs, jokes and dance of children.

When we reached Calicut a letter from Union Health Minister Gulam Nabi Azad reached to Calicut. He said in his letter that he has examined the matter and would get back to us shortly. In another letter sent by the secretary of All India Congress Committee (AICC) Rama Chandra Kundiya, MP, mentioned that Sonia Gandhi, President, AICC, forwarded the application submitted by BPPC to the health minister.

Along with these responses a breakthrough occurred in the health field of Kerala.

Ms. P.K. Sreemathi, health minister of Kerala declared that all acutely ill patients below eighteen years of age will get free treatment from Jan 2010 without considering their income. Besides, central health minister informed the local MP M.K. Ragavan that he sanctioned Rs 3 crore for the development of oncology department at MCH, Kozhikkode with immediate effect. The annual central budget allocated a considerable amount for the development of public health sector.

Blood disorder patients and their parents believe that the multi-purpose journey to New Delhi was not in vain. They are expecting more from the Central and State Government.

(Kareem Karassery is General Convener, Blood Patients’ Protection Council, Malabar Zone, Kerala, India, and can be contacted on 9447019182)

Wal-Mart, Home Depot, American Legion to host blood drives in Flemington

November 30, 2009

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New Jersey Blood Services this morning announced three blood drives planned next month in Flemington, Hunterdon County.

The blood drives are scheduled at the following times, dates and locations.
8:15 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. Dec. 19 at Home Depot, 244 Highway Route 202
10:45 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. Dec. 19 at Wal-Mart, 150 Route 31 South
2:45 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. Dec. 28 at American Legion Post 159, 41 Route 31

NJBS, a division of the New York Blood Center, reminds the community that there are children and adults battling illnesses that require frequent blood transfusion. Among these illnesses are leukemia and other forms of cancer, thalassemia and aplastic anemia, sickle cell disease and hemophilia.

Blood donation is particularly important during winter months, when blood supplies diminish while need remains the same, according to a news release from New Jersey Blood Services.

To make a donation appointment or for more information, call 800-933-2566 or visit

Metro blood bank project hits roadblock

August 17, 2009

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Mumbai The proposed metro blood bank project at the civic-run Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General Hospital (LTMG) in Sion has not taken off yet as funds from the Centre have not reached the civic authorities.

The proposed state-of-the-art blood bank — the second such blood bank in the city after the state-owned metropolitan blood bank in the JJ Hospital complex in Byculla — was supposed to get a Rs 125-crore grant from the Centre.

Dr Sanjay Jadhav, member of the governing board, National Blood Transfusion Council, and in-charge of the metropolitan blood bank project, said the project is on and architects are being appointed, but he confirmed that the funds have not reached the civic authorities yet.

“The metro blood bank project in Mumbai is in sync with similar blood banks in Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai. The funds have to be released together,” he said. The funds for the blood bank were sanctioned in November 2008.

When contacted, Dr Sandhya Kamat, dean of LTMG Hospital, confirmed that the blood bank project has not taken off yet.

The civic body had identified a 75,000-sq ft plot at the old army barracks of Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General Hospital in Sion to set up the blood bank. It also had a plan to start the construction early this year.

A blood collection centre is only part of the mega project. The civic body has a plan to make it a centre of excellence by setting up a molecular biology lab, genetics studies centre,

immunology centre, cord banking and stem cell facilities, plasma fractionation centre, thalassemia day care centre, hemophilia day care centre and biotechnology laboratory.

The civic body is also planning to start Phd programme and post gradute courses like MD in transfusion medicine and MSc at the centre.

According to sources, the centre would act as a ‘mother’ blood bank for small and private blood banks in the city, with a fully automated facility for blood testing and component separation.

According to civic authorities, the project has not been written off and they are waiting for funds from the Centre.

PM inaugurates Indoor Block of Sukkur Hospital

March 19, 2009

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SUKKUR, Jan 11 (APP): Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani here Sunday inaugurated Indoor Block of Sukkur Hospital/Blood Bank of Sukkur Blood & Drugs Donating Society (SBDDS). The project has been completed with a cost of Rs 30.00 million. Indoor Block of Sukkur Hospital/Blood Bank has the total strength of 100 beds with full ultra modern facilities to provide medical and surgical services to the patients of under served and far-flung areas of interior Sindh, Balochistan and Punjab provinces.

Sukkur Hospital is serving since last 20 years to patients of Blood Cancer, Thalassemia & Hemophilia.

This was stated by Medical Director/Secretary BoG of Sukkur Hospital Dr. Muhammad Naeem, while briefing the Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani after inauguration the Indoor Block of the Hospital.

The briefing was attended by Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, Federal Minister for Labour, Manpower, and Overseas Pakistanis Syed Kursheed Ahmed Shah, who is also the Chairman Board of Governors, Sukkur Hospital, Federal Minister for Health Aijaz Hussain Jakhrani, Federal Parliamentary Secretary for Health Dr. Mehreen Bhutto, Sindh Minister for Education Pir Mazharul Haq, MNAs, MPAs, Islamuddin Shaikh and others.

Dr. Muhammad Naeem said that the Sukkur Blood & Drugs Donating Society (SBDDS) is non-political social welfare organization founded by five Medical Students of Chandka Medical College (CMC) Larkana with just Rs 600, in February 02, 1988.

He told that the Shaheed Chairperson of PPP and former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto inaugurated the Blood Bank and Laboratory of Sukkur Hospital, in November, 1998.

He said that Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah contributed enormously in raising this institute and making it state- of- the- art health care facility.

This hospital provides about fifteen thousand Blood units annually to the patients of Blood Cancer, accidents victims, woman during pregnancy.

Construction work of indoor block of Sukkur Hospital was started in 2006 and completed in December 2008, he said adding, Pakistan Baitul Mal, Engro Chemical, District Government Sukkur, Cotton Ginners and Local Business Community and Philanthropist of Sukkur provided financial assistance to accomplish this humanitarian venture run by Sukkur Blood and Drugs Donating Society (SBDDS).

This block of the hospital comprising of Emergency Ward, Medical/Surgical ICU, Male medical/Surgical Wards, Female Medical/Surgical Wards, Children Ward, Neonatal ICU, three Operation Theaters, Nursing station, Administration Waiting area.

Dr. Muhammad Naeem said that the prime goal of Sukkur Hospital is to increase access the of-healthcare services to impoverished communities preventing communicable diseases under the dynamic leadership and guidelines of Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah Federal Minister for Labour,Manpower and Overseas Pakistanis to provide health care facilities particularly to the Thalassanemia/Hemophilia patients including Sukkur, interior Sindh, Punjab and Balochistan Provinces.

On the occasion Medical Director of Sukkur Hospital Dr. Muhammad Naeem, submitted the demands and requirements of the Hospital to the Prime Minister. The demands required that Sukkur Hospital may be awarded the status of Medical Institute; Medical equipment worth of Rs 20 million be provided to Sukkur Hospital and Rs 10 million may be allocated for Sukkur Hospital in the Federal/Provincial Budget to treat needy destitute patients.

On the occasion, the Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani said we have gone through the requirements of the Sukkur Hospital and directed the Provincial and Federal Ministries of Health to examine all the demands and requirements with a view to prepare a positive case for providing maximum assistance to the hospital.

The Federal Minister for Manpower, Labour and Overseas Pakistanis Syed Kursheed Ahmed Shah, presented the memento of the Hospital to the Prime Minister.

Later, the Prime Minister distributed the shields of the Sukkur Hospital to the Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, Federal Minister Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah, Dr. Muhammad Naeem, Wajid Hussain Junejo, Dr. Mehreen Bhutto, Khalid Mehmood Khan, Iqbal Daud Pakwala, Abdul Jabbar, Dr. Chaman Lal, Asad Umar of Engro Chemicals and others.

Soon after the arrival in Sukkur Hospital, the Premier inaugurated newly completed Indoor Block of the Sukkur Hospital/Blood Bank.

The Prime Minister alongwith Sindh Chief Minister, Federal Ministers, and Provincial Ministers visited the various sections and wards of the hospital.

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