Doctors appeal for blood given ongoing shortage

Thalassaemia and cancer patients continue to suffer

Our Correspondent July 13, 2015

KARACHI: There is an acute shortage of the most common blood groups in the city. Parents and doctors have appealed to donors to immediately donate blood to save the lives of thousands of children.

The National Institute of Blood Diseases (NIBD) director Dr Tahir Shamsi said that there is not a single bag of O positive in the city. There is also shortage of B positive blood type, he added.

"Both are very common blood groups," said Shamsi. The shortage usually occurs during the last days of Ramazan as donors avoid donating blood while they are fasting, he said. Owing to the shortage of the two blood groups in the city, around 500 children of thalassaemia and cancer suffer daily in Karachi, he added.

Omair Sana Foundation's Dr Saqib Ansari said that the issue is not just limited to Karachi. "Thalassaemia children are facing shortage of blood across Pakistan," he said. There are about 1.5 million thalassaemia patients in the country, he claimed.

Ansari stated that the parents of these children usually face difficulties in Ramazan since they have to manage the blood for their children. "We are almost dependent on families and it is very difficult for them to arrange blood," he said.

Shamsi appealed to citizens to come forward and donate blood at any registered blood bank. "A healthy person should not be afraid of anything," he added.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 14th, 2015.


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