The doctors and parents of thalassemic patients have appealed to members of the Sindh Assembly to ensure that the Sindh Prevention and Control of Thalassemia Ordinance, 2013, does not lapse.
Dr Saqib Ansari, a senior hematologist, does not agree. “I am optimistic and hope that the efforts made to sensitise people into realising the intensity of the situation and its implications on affected children and their families will definitely pay off,” he said.
The ordinance requires that proper care is accorded to patients who have fallen victim to the disease. Thalassemia is a disease caused by weakening and destruction of red blood cells and can be the cause of significant complications, including pneumonia, iron overload, bone deformities and cardiovascular illness. Under the promulgated ordinance, couples, specifically those with family history, will be screened for the virus through blood test leading to the identification of carriers.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 19th, 2013.