Celebrating 100 Bone Marrow Transplants

November 23, 2009
Celebrating 100 Bone Marrow Transplants - Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Celebrating 100 Bone Marrow Transplants - Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Italy allocates $10m for production of syringes

November 20, 2009

Courtesy by: thenews.com.pk

KARACHI: Italy has allocated $10 million for setting up a plant to locally produce self-destructive syringes under a joint venture between an Italian company and Pakistani counterpart from the private sector.

Ambassador Vincenzo Prati said this while speaking at a presentation made by the Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (PPMA) here on Thursday.

He said Italy has converted its $100 million loan for Pakistan through debt swap sometime back and $10 million have been allocated from that amount for this project. He pointed out that an Italian manufacturer of self-destructive syringes has been identified and now his government is looking for Pakistani partner for this joint venture.

Responding to the demand of the PPMA for arranging meetings of Pakistani pharmaceutical manufacturers and Italian pharmaceutical companies for joint ventures in technical fields, Prati said he was very willing to extend support in this regard.

“However, I need serious people from the PPMA, having concrete proposals for joint ventures in specific fields and they must first contact Italian companies and then let me know,” he added. He said low cost of production in Pakistan coupled with very high quality of Italian products would form the ideal joint ventures.

Prati said the Italian embassy will invite Italian Health Minister end of January or early February 2010 to visit Pakistan in reciprocation to the earlier visit of Pakistani Health Minister to Italy. He said a seminar could be held on “opportunities for joint ventures in pharmaceutical field in Pakistan” during the visit of the Italy’s minister.

He said large Italian pharma companies can come to Pakistan and three to four big projects in pharmaceutical fields can be discussed with Pakistani partners during that seminar. Prati said an Italian thalassemia physician is working in Pakistan to help local hospitals fight against this disease.

Earlier, Chairman of PPMA Zahid Saeed in his presentation urged the ambassador to help in joint ventures in various pharmaceutical fields including biotech facilities, active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and clinical research organisation (CROs).

He said all the major multinational pharmaceutical companies from all over the world are operating in Pakistan except Italian companies. He said pharmaceutical business was growing at a rate of 21 per cent and there were bright prospects for Pak-Italy joint ventures in this field.

Policy dialogue on family planning

November 14, 2009

Courtesy by: thenews.com.pk

The Secretary, Population Welfare, Muhammad Siddiq Memon, has said that in order to make the Family Planning Policy a success, concrete measures such as pre-counselling of couples before marriage, HIV and Thalassemia tests have been taken up by the department.

He stated this while inaugurating the Policy Dialogue on “Paradigm Shift of Population Welfare Programme” at a local hotel Wednesday.

He pointed out that the Family Planning Programme did not mean to control population growth only but also to ensure family welfare besides proper growth and care of child and mother.

Siddiq Memon said that keeping in view the rapid changes and developments taking place, the youth has to play an important role in making the programme a success.

For this purpose, the department with the approval of the Sindh Government is launching a programme on family welfare for students of Higher Secondary classes.

Later, the participants of the policy dialogue meeting, after deliberations, presented their proposals for inclusion in the Policy Dialogue to be held in Islamabad to formulate a new policy on family planning.

‘1.5m Thalassemics unaware of their condition’

November 8, 2009

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.

Thalassaemia victim dies guiding others

October 30, 2009

Courtesy: Dawn.com

ISLAMABAD: ‘Should I rejoice that we’ll soon have a thalassaemia bill … or should I be sad that Salman isn’t among us to celebrate this news?’ wrote Ayesha Mehmood on her blog.

Ayesha is the sister of an unsung hero, late Salman Mehmood, who was running a website for the awareness of thalassemia patients.

After four days on ventilator, Salman succumbed to spinal meningitis at the Aga Khan University Hospital in Karachi on Monday.

Salman, also a thalassemia patient, was successfully running a website (www.thalassemia.com.pk) for the past few years from his home in Karachi.

The site was Salman’s contribution to spread the word about thalassemia – information otherwise not easily available.

‘We intended to create a general, massive awareness about the illness and to motivate people to support thalassemia patients’ Ayesha, also a thalassemic patient, told Dawn.

‘Salman was always on his toes to let the people know about the disease and was very social among internet users across the world and was managing the bread and butter for the family,’ 22-year-old Ayesha said.

She said: ‘The idea of developing an online medium was to facilitate people and families with thalassemia while all the information and support came from Salman.’

‘My father died few years ago while our elder brother also expired when he was 17 years old who was suffering from thalassemia, and now we are only two sisters and our mother’ she said.

The family is living in Garden West area in Karachi with no one to look after us.

‘Salman has done some awesome work and now I will continue his mission so we can save lives of many in future,’ she said.

Around 4,000 people from different countries have posted condolence messages and praised the efforts of Salman for creating an online awareness campaign with limited resources.

Ayesha asserted: ‘If we want to save our future generations, the government should make thalassemia tests mandatory for couples wishing to marry.’

Badar Khushnood, Pakistan’s Google representative, also a fan of late Salman, said: ‘He was a role model for the Pakistani youth and was a young entrepreneur. He has started earning from home through his website and without letting anybody know about his disease.’

‘I just learnt about him with his nick name – skdev – and also appreciated his work by commenting on his blog. Later, we met in a conference; Salman was a bright Pakistani as his work was truly commendable and he had helped.’

Meeting for Thalassemia Cause

October 29, 2009

Date: 27th October 2009
Time: 8:00 PM
Place: Usman Memorial Hospital, Karachi.
Cause: Thalassemia Awareness Further Plans.
Plans: Arranging more blood and awareness camps, getting mandatory tests bill passed in National Assembly.
People attended: Dr. Mustafa (Medical Director, Usman Memorial Hospital), Abdul Hameed Kath, Shamsuddin A. Noorani (Consultant- Alternative Medicine, DXN Intl. Pakistan), Musaddiq Hussain Lakhani (International Distributor, DXN Intl. Pakistan), Mustafa, Mr. Abid Beli and Mrs. Abid, Arsalan Nara, Asif Yahya, Hina Yahya, Hammad & Ayesha Mehmood

Discussion in points:

  • Explaining plan to Dr. Mustafa
  • Mr. Noorani & Mr. Lakhani brief introduction on alternative medicine (Red Reishi Mushroom)
  • Detailed discussion on Red Reishi Mushroom
  • Discussion over Hussaini Blood Bank and Transfusion centre & other centers
  • Dr. Mustafa’s idea of contacting Rafiq Khanani, who wants to do work in Thalassemia field
  • Arranging blood and awareness camps in Expo exhibition, colleges, universities & locality
  • Making arrangement for screening in discounted rate or free
  • Approaching bloggers, arranging competition to write detailed and best post about Thalassemia on their blog and win prize in the end
  • Gathering bloggers to write more and more about Thalassemia to make media pay attention to it
  • Writing letters to each and every ministry and try hard to pass mandatory tests bill passed in National Assembly
  • Making Thalassemia awareness brochure, CD

Drop your questions/advices/suggestions in Comment Box!

Salman Mehmood a.k.a SKDev (1985 – 2009)

October 23, 2009

Salman Mehmood the founder of Thalassemia.com.pk is no longer among us. He left this world at 2 pm PST on 19th October 2009 due to meningitis.

He was a thalassemic himself, 24 years old, working as a web developer for a US based company named ‘Directors Advantage’.

His dream was to save next generation from thalassemia, he wanted badly assembly to pass the thalassemia prevention bill and how unlucky of him that bill just got pass when he died…, he wanted to aware every single soul about thalassemia, he even mentioned his cause on a TV show, you can see the video on Youtube.

Rest about him I won’t write because other bloggers/journalist/writers have written on him a lot. As a brother he was a gem!

Am posting some of the articles/posts written on him, I will be including more whenever they are available to me:

In The Memory of Our Beloved Friend Salman Mehmood (@skdev)

Eternal Silence.. Dedicated to @skdev

Innal Lahi Wana Ilahi Raja’on

In the memory of Salman Mehmood

Salman (@skdev) will always live in our hearts

A Prayer for Salman – Inna Lillahi Wa Inna Ilaihi Rajeeoon

Those Who Met On The Way: Dedicated To Salman Mehmood #skdev

Gone too soon…

@skdev still alive in our hearts

Prayers needed

Pak thalassemia patient who blogged about disease, dead

The Laidback Show episode dedicated to Salman Mehmood

The Deduction

Salman Mehmood of ApniISP

Never too late … but …

Is there no hope?

My Friend, Salman

Thalassaemia victim dies guiding others

Bange-Dara [076] – The People’s Voice – Tribute to Salman

Blogger Salman Mehmood Died

If am missing any article that you know please mention, I want to gather all those articles/videos/posts all on one place.

May Allah grant him the highest rank of Jannah! ameen

-Ayesha (Salman’s Sister)


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