Thalassemia: Learn something, will you?

July 11, 2010


For over four years, Fight Against Thalassemia (FAiTh) has been trying to convey a simple message across to the government: to pass and implement a Pre-Marital Mandatory Tests Bill in the country. This is a simple request for a simple bill and a simple solution to highly complex problems that our society faces today.

Even though right now there are no government-based Thalassemia treatment centers, this situation will improve soon as there will soon be as many as seven Thalassemia treatment centers run by the Government of Pakistan. The exact date of when these centers will be setup however, only two G’s know: God, and Government.

FAiTh has attempted to utilize a myriad of media: from print to web-based, from television to spreading awareness on its own through the help of media owners. While FAiTh was busy with awareness campaigns, the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa assembly sent us a shocking, yet pleasant surprise: they passed the Pre-Marital Mandatory Tests Bill.

This was a cause for celebration! However, this overwhelming joy was quickly swept over by another question: When a conservative province like the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa is progressive enough to pass the bill, why are the other provinces so reluctant?

The North West is a place where the men do not want anyone to see their female counter-parts. I salute them for passing the bill and giving other provinces what we call, “ghairat ka dose.”

And, just after a few short days, the Sindh Assembly gathered all of its courage, and passed the resolution as well! What a brilliant milestone!

This is all great! However, what the Punjab Assembly did comes as a big slap across the metaphorical faces of all the other Provincial Assemblies. I understand that I am going to be opposed with many objections after this post. Even as I wrote this, I came up with several queries myself, such as it will be an invasion of privacy or that more problems will be caused for girls and aged women who are still awaiting their match.

I am supporting this bill because of the medical check-up made necessary. This can surely help to put a full stop to the birth of 5,000 Thalassemic children every year. It is not the children, that shouldn’t be born. It is Thalassemia. I have mentioned in my earlier posts as well, that I am representing Thalassemia patients of Pakistan. I am their ambassador, and I speak for them when I assert that they will be happy with this new law.

Now, the National Assembly needs to get some ‘ghairat‘ and do their part: implement the law countrywide!

6,000 NWFP contract employees regularised

October 23, 2009


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.

Preventive Health Bill moved in PA Couples to show Thalassemia, Hapatitis-C reports Ali Sheikh

October 3, 2009

Courtesy by:

PESHAWAR: The Government on Thursday, presented in the Provincial Assembly The NWFP Preventive Health Bill, 2009. According to the Bill a Nikah registrar before solemnizing the marriage shall obtain premarital medical test reports of both bride and bridegroom regarding Thalassemia and Hepatitis C. These premarital medical tests of the two dangerous diseases would be mandatory and would help in spreading health awareness and would educate the future parents about the diseases as if infected they may give birth to the children with these contagious fatal diseases. According to the bill the nikah registrar shall keep the record of the medical reports for at least three years from the date the marriage is solemnized. Similarly, the license of a nikah registrar who solemnizes a marriage without obtaining these medical will be cancelled.

According to the bill, if a person other than a nikah registrar solemnizes a marriage in which the medical reports are not presented, the person will be fined Rs. 10,000. MPA Saqibullah Khan Chamkani presented the bill. Meanwhile,

The Provincial Motor vehicles (NWFP) (Ammendment) Bill, 2009 was also presented in the House. According to the amendment made the offender may deposit the challan fee in ‘any bank’ . Before it was written in the bill that the offender can only deposit the challan fee in only National Bank of Pakistan and Khyber Bank. This will help the offender in finding a bank and thus to deposit the challan fee easily. Meanwhile, 15 resolutions were also presented in the Provincial Assembly on Thursday.

Out of which eight resolutions were passed unanimously while others were either withdrawn by the movers or were lapsed because the movers were not present.

5000 children born with thalassemia annually in Pak

September 14, 2009

Courtesy by:

PESHAWAR: Over 5000 children are born with transfusion dependent thalassemia annually in Pakistan and 65 percent of them belonge to NWFP.

According to the three yearly report of Hamza Welfare Foundation in Peshawar the NGO has provided 14,543 patients with healthy blood.

Presently 550 patients are registered with the organisation. Out of which 455 patients are suffering from thalassemia; 58 from haemophilia and 37 from blood cancer. The majority of the patients include minors.

The Foundation is making efforts for facilitating free medical services to the poor and deserving; and a large number of people are supporting the organisation in this regard.

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