‘12 million thalassaemia carriers in Pakistan’

LAHORE: Punjab Thalassaemia Prevention Program (PTPP) has said that there are 10 to 12 million thalassaemia carriers and nearly 60,000 thalassaemia major patients in Pakistan.

“Thalassaemia Major not only inflicts pain and misery on the patient and its family, but also puts and enormous burden on the government’s kitty,” said Dr Shabnam Bashir, Program Manager of PTPP, while addressing a ceremony to mark World Thalassaemia Day here at Auditorium of Fatima Jinnah Medical University on Monday.

Advisor to Chief Minister on Health Khawaja Salman Rafique was the chief guest, while the FJMU Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Fakhar Imam welcomed the guests. Dr Shabnam Bashir said that there were approximately 60,000 patients of Thalassaemia Major in Pakistan with the birth of another 7,000 children with this disease annually at a rate of 17 children per day. She said that Thalassaemia is a hereditary disease, which is transmitted to the fetus through combination of defective genes of Thalassaemia carrier parents. Therefore, she said that there was a need to discourage marriages between Thalassaemia carriers – a phenomenon mainly identified in cases of cousin marriages.

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