Ibad for mandatory screening to prevent Thalassemia
05 January, 2013
KARACHI: The Governor Sindh Dr Ishratul Ibad Khan has expressed his absolute support for mandatory pre-marital screening of couples to prevent spread of thalassemia among local population.
Addressing a ceremony to formally open Dow Thalassemia Assistance Unit at Dow Institute of Hematology and Blood Transfusion, Dow University of Health Sciences (DUHS) on Friday, he said the fact that there was a significant population of thalassemia minor in the country which could not be ignored.
"While the carriers of thalassemia are at no risk to develop any complication, however, wedlock between two thalassemia minor holds 70% to 80% chances of a child born with thalassemia major," said the governor also a medical graduate by qualification.
"People have to understand that children born with thalassemia major usually do not survive above the age of 20 year to 25 years," he said.
"That too with a compromised quality of life and in constant need of blood transfusion with its associated risks," he added.
Dr Ishrat-ul-Ibad Khan appreciated DUHS authorities for establishing a full-fledged thalassemia unit focused on public awareness to prevent the diseases, providing free of cost screening facilities to the interested couples besides promotion of voluntary donation culture for people in need.
Minister warns action: Sindh Minister for Health, Dr Saghir Ahmed has warned stringent action against EDOs-Health pertaining to districts with below 95% routine immunisation coverage of children.
Chairing a meeting of EDOs belonging to measles affected districts in the province on Friday, he directed these officials to visit residence of children who died of measles during past many days and ascertain the exact cause of the fatalities.
The meeting also attended by Sindh Secretary for Health Aftab Ahmed Khatri was asked to ensure prompt compilation of daily reports of measles' cases in the eight "hit" districts.
The report must necessarily include details about each case vis-a-vis its immunisation status," said Dr Saghir.
He ordered that these reports must necessarily be shared with the media so as to provide them with actual statistics and real scenario.
The health minister said it was due to media that parents are being sensitized about arrangements for their children and hence are bringing measles affected children in large numbers to their closest health centers.
He said since January 2012 to December 2012 some 2012 measles induced deaths were registered in the province and these include 93 cases in December only.
The minister said anti-measles campaigns should be taken very seriously at every level.