During her visit and gift distribution among Thalassaemia Children of Fatimid Foundation at Fatmid Blood Bank Karachi the PMA president said that the only solution for the disease is public awareness through media, emphasizing that it is a preventable disease by carrier detection and avoiding marriages among them.
Dr. Sabir Memon and Dr. Ghulam Nabi Shah Jillani were also present at the occasion.
Dr. Samrina revealed that Thalassaemia is a major health problem in Pakistan. It is the most prevalent genetically transmitted blood disorder with a carrier rate of 5-8%. Around 5000 children are diagnosed with Thalassaemia major each year.
She said that as the treatment of Thalassaemia is expensive, a prevention program should be initiated in order to reduce the burden of the Thalassaemia patients. The burden of Thalassaemia management in Pakistan is more than 4% of the current health-related expenditures of the government.
She urged to start awareness program at School, college and University level. Print and Electronic media can play in important role. Thalassaemia should be included in high school curriculum.
She was of the view that law for screening program of Thalassaemia should be passed and implemented in order to reduce the number of patients. Coming to prevention program, she said that it required data collection followed by interpretation. In Pakistan, we have promoted enough knowledge about polio, hepatitis and HIV but nothing about has been done about Thalassaemia. There is need to provide the knowledge first to the general public and give them the time to interpret. Screening to identify carriers, genetic counseling and prenatal diagnosis can greatly reduce the rate of birth of affected infants and improve the prognosis of affected patients.
Earlier, Dr. Sabir Memon and Dr. Ghulam Nabi Shah Jillani shared their view on the prevention of Thalassaemia.