Karachi: Omair Sana Foundation (OSF), is going to launch a week long Thalasemia awareness campaign from 1st May 2016 during campaign awareness walks, candle light vigil and other programmes would be held across the city.
This was announced by Secretary Omair Sana Foundation Dr Saqib Hussain Ansari while addressing a press conference at OSF Office in Karachi. Joint Secretary OSF UbaidHashmi and Dr Zeeshan Ansari were also present on this occasion.
Dr Ansari said Thalassaemia major is a horrible disease and serious steps at both the public and private sector levels are needed to get rid of it. He demanded of the government to ensure implementation of the legislation in regard with Thalassaemia in letter and spirit.
He also demanded to make Thalassaemia test a part of the NikahNama, addition of Thalassaemia status on the computerized national identity card (CNIC) and provision of the facility of Thalassaemia test across the country free of cost.
He expressed his concern over the rate on which the disease has been spreading and informed th some 6000 children born each year with this deadly disease. As per conservative estimates currently there are more than 100,000 children in Pakistan who are suffering from Thalassaemia major.
He said medicines for each patient cost Rs 8000 monthly. He further said that these estimates translated into Rs800millions per month and Rs9.6billion per year. He said Thalassaemia could be controlled effectively, if the government agreed to spend Rs9billion on the prevention of Thalassaemia for two years.
He said billions of rupees being spend annually on medicines and medical procedure in this regard can be saved if the government shows its willingness to eradicate the disease. He informed that foundation has been serving Thalassaemia affected families for last 12 years. In this regard, free blood test is offered for effected families , facilities of the Thalassaemia prevention center are also offered to other Thalassaemia centers of the country.
He further informed that organization has screened the blood of some 5,000 Thalassaemia affected families, conducted more than 2000 prenatal tests. In addition more than 350 Thalassaemia patients are registered in the OSF.
He appealed the all society members to play their role for eradication of thalassaemia from the country.
During the week-long campaign, a walk would be taken out on May 5, 2016 in Hamdard University; Candle light vigil would be held on the culminating day on May 8 at the Karachi Press Club.
Meanwhile, religious scholars, clerics, legislators, journalists, intellectual and prominent figures from other walks of life will be approached sensitized over the issue.