Thalassemia is a genetically transmitted blood disorder and its further proliferation could only be slashed down by avoiding intra-family marriages.
Dr Wasim Khawaja, a spokesman for Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences told APP that there are 10 million carriers of this disease who transmit it to the next generation.
Economic cost of thalassemia treatment is enormous. Experts say around 8,000 children are born with thalassemia every year. Thalassemia experts say almost seven per 100 people are thalassemia-minor patients in Pakistan and they are the ‘carriers’ of the disease.
The carriers are normal themselves and may not even know about their inborn disease until tested, but have the potential to transmit it to their offspring when they marry a carrier, producing a thalassemia major child. Ayesha Abid of Thalassemia Awareness and Prevention in Pakistan called upon the government to set up thalassemia centres to ensure blood transfusion services to the deserving patients.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 19th, 2012.