Fundraiser for thalassemic children

June 13, 2010


The Cure2children Foundation (C2C) Saturday organised an exhibition to raise funds for under-privileged children suffering from thalassemia, where dresses; shoes; purses; handicrafts; paintings and cosmetics are on sale.

The exhibition was inaugurated on Saturday afternoon by the ambassador of Italy and Mrs Vincenzo Prati and will continue on Sunday as well from 1200 — 2000 hrs at the Rohtas Hall, Sector F-7/2 Islamabad. Most of the stalls had been put up by female entrepreneurs, who are working from home — some new to the business and some established. ‘Needlepoint’ by Zari Saad has some beautifully decorated boxes that can be used to pack a gift; ‘Saddis Fashion’ has embroidered and woven fabrics; Anjum Javed uses the handloom to weave wall hangings and make material that is different; ‘Huma’s Collection’ and ‘Sairah’s’ from Karachi have hand and machine embroidered fabrics; ‘Home Accentura’ (Durdana Kazmi) has bed linen, but also makes bridal wear and linen to order; IftikharAhmed has paintings and will do portraits on order.

On the home front are stalls with crockery and items like rugs and decoration pieces. There are also fun activities for children like face painting; card making and ‘mehndi’ application while a food stall by ‘Sugar & Spice’ provides much needed refreshment, if you are hungry and thirsty! The exhibition is worth a visit because besides picking up something for yourself or your friends and family you will also be helping a very good cause.

The Cure2children Foundation (C2C) is an Italian NGO caring for children suffering from severe diseases in developing countries regardless of race; religion or geographical area. More than 50,000 children have thalassemia major in Pakistan and for many bone marrow transplantation offers the only chance of survival. Cure2Children has supported the cure of an initial group of children and with C2C’s full support and co-operation a two-bed bone marrow transplant unit has been established in the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS), which is functional since January 2009. So far transplants of thirty children whose parents could not afford the expenses have taken place in PIMS; Shifa International and National Institute of Blood diseases, Karachi. Of these seventeen have been fully funded by C2C while thirteen have been partially funded. The cost of one transplant in Pakistan is from Rs1.2 to Rs1.5 million. Because they feel they have to make some effort to become a little self reliant, the C2C has organised an exhibition to raise funds for under-privileged children suffering from thalassemia, where dresses; shoes; purses; handicrafts; paintings and cosmetics are on sale.

She has a right to live too!

May 15, 2010

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Anam Sarfraz is a healthy looking pretty four-year-old girl. She loves every moment of life, enjoys playing with her mother and elder brothers and is jubilant every time she watches her father step in at the end of day’s work.

Like every baby girl she loves playing dolls, brush their hair, change their clothes, make home for them and every other activity the young baby girls of her age love indulging in. Only every 20 days, she catches fever, her tummy gets loosened, and her body starts aching badly, making her cry uncontrollably because she is a patient of dreaded ‘Thalassemia Major’ and has to be taken to the hospital for a painful process of infusion of fresh components of blood that her body is not producing naturally. Her parents take her to the Children’s Hospital in the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) where the life saving treatment is provided to give a new lease of life to Anam. But all this is not as simple as it may appear.

The father, Sarfraz Hussain, is a poor tailor, working in a shop located in a small community market in sector I-8/3. He earns hardly Rs7,000 to Rs8,000 per month by sewing clothes while working seven days a week. While the hospital infuses the necessary components of blood into the veins of young Anam free of cost, the poor father is still required to buy the medicines, which cost, according to the official hospital assessment, Rs6,339 per month. Anam has already lost an elder sister at the cruel hands of the same disease. The poor parents become desperate every time Anam starts showing the symptoms of ailment. Her tears and her cries are too much to bear for them. They hardly have enough money to purchase the required medicines, so eventually the poor father has to borrow the required amount of money for the treatment of his daughter from the people around him. And this loan is only accumulating with the passage of each month!

Sarfraz, the poor father has submitted an application with the Managing Director of the Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal in the Head Office in Islamabad for the release of the required funds to purchase the medicines for Anam. But an action or an answer is still awaited from them. He says that they had started the treatment of Anam when she was only three months old when she was diagnosed with the disease. “I have been spending whatever I am earning for her treatment and throughout these long more then four years now, (Anam is now four years and four months old), I even sold whatever I had and that could be sold to purchase the medicines.

“But now it is becoming almost impossible for me. My two sons are also growing, the eldest is 12 years, but they have not reached the age where I can put them to any sort of work to earn some money and be my support. I have lost a daughter already to this disease. I don’t want to loose Anam too. Allah Almighty has given me such a beautiful daughter. I am sure Allah Almighty will not take her away from me like her elder sister,” the poor father said, almost chocking on his emotions.

“I have submitted the application with Bait-ul-Mal office for the release of money to help me purchase the medicines and have visited their offices quite a few times too to pursue the application. But so far nothing positive has transpired. I cannot afford to spend too much time pursuing this application too because every hour that I spend in the corridors of those offices and the hospitals I am loosing money. I try to make up for the lost time by working the nights, but then there is a limit to my strength too! Secondly, being a tailor, I have to complete the jobs at time and whenever I fail to deliver on time, I loose my clients, which eventually reflect adversely on my income,” Sarfraz Hussain said. “I appeal to the concerned authorities to please, please help me save the life of my daughter,” pleased a sobbing father.

We wonder if his pleading will stir anybody in the offices of Baitul Maal or some other kind hearted soul who may come forth with a helping hand. It is not much really. According to the hospital estimates the monthly cost of the medicines that he needs to buy for Anam is Rs6,339/-. Not a big deal. Many of us spend this sort of money on a single meal in a posh eatery!

Police donate blood for thalassemia patients

February 9, 2010

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ISLAMABAD: Islamabad police on Saturday donated blood for thalassemia patients to uphold the concept of friendly policing.

According to a press release, Umair Sana Foundation (Red Crescent) arranged the blood donation camp at Islamabad Traffic Police (ITP) Headquarters. Inspector General of Police (IGP) Syed Kaleem Imam, Senior Superintendent of Police (Traffic) Dr Moeen Masood and several other officials donated blood to help those suffering from various blood diseases.

Imam said Islamabad police were determined to ensure protection to the life and property of the citizens and taking part in various welfare works. “Islamabad police would always be in the forefront for the service of humanity,” the IGP said. “Through such gestures the health of patients who needed blood in time, would improve,” he added.

Imam said Islamabad police were the role model for other law-enforcement agencies and every personnel of this force would contribute to the efforts against thalassemia.

The blood donation camp would also be held at police stations and policemen would be urged to give more blood donation for thalassemia patients.

Family Laws Amendment Bill presented to NA

January 12, 2010

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National Assembly Tuesday granted leave to move ‘The Muslim Family Laws Amendment Bill 2009’ further to amend the Muslim Family Laws Ordinance 1961.

MNA Justice ® Fakhar-un-Nisa Khokhar moved the bill to the House that was sent to Standing Committee concerned by Acting Speaker Faisal Karim Kundi after the government did not oppose it and the House granted leave to move the bill.

Presenting the bill to the House, the member said, it provides for presentation of a medical certificate about blood test by the bride and bride groom that they are not suffering from Thalessemia.

Referring to specific amendment in the Ordinance, she said, the Bill provides ‘before registration of a marriage, the Nikah Registrar shall ensure that pre-marital blood screening of the bride and the bride groom have been undertaken and certificate to this effect have been produced by each party before the Nikah os solemnized or registered.’

She said in Pakistan 12.5 million children and individuals are affected by Thalassemia, which can be controlled through appropriate tests before entering into wedlock. In this way, we can prevent the birth of children suffering from Thalassemia.

Advisor to Prime Minister Shahnaz Wazir Ali described this bill as of utmost importance and said, the rate of under nourished children and those suffering from blood diseases was high and blood test must be a requirement before marriage.

She urged to regularize functioning of medical laboratories in private sector and also upgrade the testing system at the public sector laboratories.

Shahnaz said, the medical standards regulation system also needed to be strengthened both at provincial as well as federal level.

Mobilink arranges blood donation

August 22, 2009

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KARACHI: Mobilink, a subsidiary of Orascom Telecom, organised blood donation drives at its offices nationwide for children suffering from Thalassemia and other blood diseases.

In total, more than 200 pints of blood were donated to Fatimid Foundation in Karachi and Lahore along with similar healthy blood donations to Sundas Foundation in Islamabad.

Organised under the auspices of Mobilink Foundation, employees were driven with the common goal of providing Thalassemics a chance to live with an improved quality of life. A pint of blood generally suffices three patients adding approximately two to six weeks in their lives. The contribution marks a commitment to societal and communal well-being.

Mobilink appreciated the work of Fatimid and Sundas Foundation for playing a very positive and supportive role in saving innocent lives and facilitating free of cost transfusion and treatment to needy children.

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