ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Baitul Mal (PBM) Managing Director (MD) Barrister Abid Waheed Sheikh on Friday announced a thalassaemia awareness campaign on different platforms after Ramazan. He said this in a meeting with Belgian Ambassador Peter Claes at the Pakistan Thalassaemia Centre.
The MD said “It is essential to raise awareness among the people about this genetic disease, its cure and preventive measures to mitigate chances of its spread.” He informed that the centre has so far registered 300 thalassaemia patients and is providing them the best treatment. The centre is facing problems regarding blood donations during the month of Ramazan as people show reluctance to do so while fasting, he added. Sheikh pointed out the need to sensitise people about the fact that there is no harm in donating blood and saving one’s life is an act of humanity.
The ambassador was briefed about the disease in a presentation. He was informed that thalassaemia is a major genetic disorder in the country and around 6,000 new patients are added every year.
They are completely dependent on periodic blood transfusion and medicines throughout their lives, while child patients need extra care. The treatment of thalassaemia and allied issues is very expensive and very few can afford it especially in a country like Pakistan.
He was briefed that the centre is committed to extend quality medical care free of charge, increase life expectancy and bring improvement in quality of life for those affected by the disease.
The ambassador said the diplomatic community stands open for any assistance or cooperation for this noble cause. “Pakistan is the country with more generous people who extend their donations for such causes which is good,” he said. He assured his support for the centre on the behalf of his country.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 28th, 2015.