Hematologist expert calls for more Thalassemia awareness

ISLAMABAD, Dec 5 (APP): Underlining the need to raise awareness about thalassemia, medical expert has called for more sensitization about the scourge of Thalassemia and installation of screening facilities if the disease is to be contained in the country.

Media to play role for sensitizing public on thalassemia as there was a dire need to enhance awareness among people specially Youth for donation blood to control and prevention of thalassemia diseases, renowned Hematologist Dr. Zaffar Iqbal talking to private news channel said.

He said better coverage of diseases in media would create public awareness of the ways and means to control and prevent them.

He explained , Thalassemia is an inherited disorder. It leads to the decreased production and increased destruction of red blood cells, adding, the pre-marriage thalassemia test for the couple can also save next generation from this deadly ailment.

According to expert about 70 to 90% of the population are unaware of the disease, 80% thalassemia major patients need regular blood transfusions who are dying due to iron overload, hepatitis C and other
complications.

Health expert said due to non-preventive measures, Thalassemia is on rise.

“There is strong need to create awareness in the society for blood donation as well, he stressed.
Because of lack of awareness, we do not have the culture for volunteer blood donation,” he regretted.

As treatment is very expensive, awareness of the disease is essential to prevent its increase,he added.

Dr said that the spread of the disease occurs when two minors with thalassemia get married and have children, who then are at great risk of being thalassemia major or minor themselves.

“Genetic testing is the key to improving the quality of genes in a society where consanguineous marriages are common.

Dr Zaffar also recommended for those with family history of chromosomal abnormality of any single gene disorder, recurrent pregnancy losses, implantation failures, unexplained infertility, advanced maternal age or male factor infertility”.

Whereas bone marrow transplant which is the only permanent treatment currently available costs more than million rupees.

“Prevention is better than cure, so every member of society must be screened by a simple blood test before marriage to avoid thalassemia deadly disease”, he added.

“It is the high time for the religious scholars and educationist to play their role for creating awareness about thalassemia disease among citizens and convince them to donate blood which is the only life line and ray of hope for the survival of patients suffering from this disease”.

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