Thalassaemia patients, their parents, doctors and philanthropists walked from the press club to the Arts Council on Saturday to raise awareness about the disease and motivate the youth to donate blood.
The Thalassaemia Prevention Project, started by different blood banks and organisations organised the walk. Dr Sarfraz Hussain Jafri said that 65,000 patients suffer from thalassaemia in Pakistan, out of which 23,000 are registered with different organisations and trusts, who treat them free-of-charge. There are 7,000 children suffering from the disease in Sindh, while only 4,300 are registered.
It costs nearly Rs0.4 million per year to treat one patient and they require 25 bottles of blood.
“The injection, Desferol, controls the patient’s iron level but it is not easily available in the market. The price of one injection has gone up from Rs120 to Rs300 and each child needs two injections per day,” explained Jafri.
He demanded that the government allocate a budget for the injection and make sure it is available in the market at reduced prices.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 8th, 2011.