KARACHI- A 15-day-long campaign for creating awareness among masses about thalassaemia began in the city on Friday (May 1) under the auspices of Omair Sana Foundation (OSF).
Unfolding details of the campaign, the OSF’s Secretary Dr Saqib Hussain Ansari, told a news conference at the Foundation’s Gulshan-i-Iqbal headquarters that a blood screening camp would be set up and candles would be lit at Karachi Press Club (KPC) on May 5, while a walk-in clinic would be organized at Hamdard University on May 8.
Moreover, a scientific seminar would be held on May 13, he added.
With regard to the OSF’s awareness campaign, he said that letters would be sent to president of Pakistan, prime minister, parliamentarians, senators, provincial and federal health ministers and senior journalists, with a request to become part of the drive.
Underscoring the need for creating awareness about thalassaemia, Dr Saqib said that around 6,000 children are born with the disease each year in Pakistan.
He was of the opinion that the disease could be prevented, provided government spent Rs9billion annually, on Thalassaemia Prevention Programme.
According to him, Rs8000 was being spent on each Thalassemic patient every month. It means that roughly around Rs9.6billion was being incurred annually on all Thalassemic patients in the country, he added.
He demanded of the government to implement the law relating to eradication of thalassaemia from the country in letter and spirit.
The OSF’s secretary also urged the government make the thalassaemia test mandatory before marriage and it be made a part of ‘Nikkah Nama’.
At the outset, he recommended to the government to ensure that thalassaemia tests are conducted free of cost across the country.
The campaign would continue till May 15, he added.